Industrial platinum users and jewellery platinum users in China have been taking advantage of the low platinum price to increase their stock levels. China increased stock levels in this way twice before: in 2008 with the global financial crisis and again in 2014 ahead of the long strike.
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.
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 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.
JSE-listed Northam Platinum has managed to extend the maturity dates of certain notes held in terms of the company’s R10-billion Domestic Medium Term Note (DMTN) Programme with an aggregate amount of around R1.8-billion. The agreement was reached with a number of the noteholders, the company confirms.
Platinum group metals miner Northam Platinum reports that an employees at its Zondereinde mine, in Limpopo, has tested positive for Covid-19. The employee reported to the mine’s medical facility on May 3 after feeling unwell. Having shown symptoms of Covid-19, the employee was immediately admitted to the mine’s isolation facility and tested.
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.
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.
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.
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.