SOUTH African-based leading platinum group metals producer, Anglo Platinum (Angloplat), says it will increase production levels in line with rising demand on the international market.
Demand for platinum group metals has been boosted by the revaluation of the Chinese yuan, making it cheaper for the Asian nation to buy the precious mineral.
The Chinese market accounts for over 20% of world demand for platinum group metals.
In its presentation of half-year results to June 30, the company said it would base its production levels on demand trends.
The company said platinum group metals demand had increased by 3,4%.
“Palladium demand and consumption levels remain sound but the strong rand is likely to dampen future supply,” Angloplat said.
The London and Johannesburg-listed platinum producer’s headline earnings increased by 34,6% to close the half-year at R2,02 billion.
Angloplat dividend to its shareholders increased by 20% to 480 cents per share.
The company’s profit from metal sales increased to R2,58 billion, a gain of 4,7%, while its headline earnings increased to R2,14 billion an increase of 40,9% from the previous figure of R1,52 billion.
Angloplat is a joint venture partner of Anglo American Corporation Zimbabwe (Amzim) in the proposed US$90 million Unki Platinum project in the Great Dyke.
Development of the first phase of the multi-billion dollar project is on course with mining expected to start in 2007/2008.
The initial phase of the project is expected to produce about 85 000 tonnes of ore a month and 58 000 ounces of platinum a year.
To date, the mine has completed trial mining which has seen the extraction of bulk samples underground through an exploration shaft.
The road network leading to the site of the proposed mine and construction of a bridge over Umtebekwana River have been completed.
Work on a dam to supply water to the mine is at an advanced stage.
Amzim is also said to be holding talks with an unidentified local partner to take up shareholding in the project under the country’s laws governing mining investments.
On completion of the empowerment deal, 5% of the 20% stake on offer will however go to Amzim workers, with Angloplat retaining a 51% stake and management control of the project while Amzim will have a 29% stake.