Pandemic disrupts jewellery business, but recovery on the cards

The drivers for platinum jewellery business growth in 2019 point the way to a post-Covid-19 recovery, the Platinum Guild International’s (PGI’s) 2020 'Platinum Jewellery Business Review (PJBR)' has found. The  PJBR surveys more than 1 000 manufacturers and retailers and more than 4 000 consumers, to provide a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of platinum jewellery’s performance.

Sylvania confirms its six tailings operations are ramping up

Aim-listed Sylvania Platinum is in the process of ramping up and maximising production at its six tailings retreatment facilities, under strict conditions stipulated by the South African government. The government started easing Covid-19 restrictions from May 1, after Sylvania had to scale down its operations to only care and maintenance activities for five weeks during a national Level 5 lockdown, during which only essential services were allowed to operate.

Ballard optimistic that fuel cell demand will rise

Ballard Power Systems, which develops proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells that use a platinum catalyst as a key component, says mobility solutions have become a focus for the company, especially in the heavy-duty vehicle segment. In an interview with the World Platinum Investment Council, Ballard marketing director Nicolas Pocard said the company’s mission was to accelerate fuel cell technology adoption.

Demand soars for US platinum coins

The World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) reports that demand for American Eagle platinum bullion coins has reached its highest level in 21 years. By the end of April, sales of the 1 oz platinum Eagle had reached 56 500 oz, which came close to exceeding the second-highest sales figure of 56 707 oz in 1999.

Eastplats resumes Crocodile River tailings operation, to publish results later

TSX- and JSE-listed Eastern Platinum (Eastplats) has started recalling its remaining workforce in Mpumalanga, South Africa, after South Africa moved from Phase 5 lockdown restrictions to Phase 4 restrictions, effective May 1. Eastplats’ subsidiary, Barplats Mines, operates a tailings retreatment project at the Crocodile River Mine, which had been operating care and maintenance activities at reduced capacity and with a small workforce during Phase 5.

Wesizwe has concerns over financials despite healthy 2019 profit

JSE-listed Wesizwe Platinum achieved increased headline earnings of 5.95c apiece in the year ended December 31, 2019, which is a 212% increase compared with a headline loss a share of 5.31c in the year ended December 31, 2018. The company reported a 217% increase in earnings a share to 6.33c in the year under review, compared with an earnings loss of 5.40c apiece in the prior year.

Sylvania’s net profit rises on higher output, prices

Debtless platinum group metals (PGMs) miner Sylvania Platinum achieved a 56% quarter-on-quarter increase in net revenue increased to $43.6-million for the quarter ended March 31, the third quarter of its financial year, buoyed by increased production and a 9% increase in the PGMs dollar basket price. The miner recorded a net profit of $25.4-million for the quarter – a 123% increase quarter-on-quarter, thereby resulting in the group’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation increasing by 83% to $32-million.