Media Announcements

Wesizwe Platinum Reports on a water shed year for the development of its Bakubung Platinum Mine against the backdrop of the finalization of key project funding

27 March 2013

The Board of Directors at Wesizwe Platinum Limited has today published its integrated report and announced its financial results for the 2012 operating year.  The financial year was dominated by substantial progress made on the development of the Bakubung Platinum Mine located in the Western Limb of the Bushveld Complex near Rustenburg in the North West Province. The planned 350 koz 4E platinum mine will initiate production build up from 2018. The Main and Ventilation shafts achieved a depth of 63.5m and 117.5m respectively and the project remains on time and within budget. The year also saw the finalization of the US$650m funding package from China Development Bank, which positions the project well for its continued development and production ramp up.

Wesizwe reported a consolidated profit for the year of R9.7 million, due to the significant interest income of R56.6 million earned on cash balances that, in turn, contributed to the basic earnings per share of 0.60 cents.

The NAV per share was reported as 223.39 cents per share.

Wesizwe also reported its securing of two short-term loan facilities with the China Development Bank during 2012 of US$ 100 million each.  The first loan of US$ 100 million was drawn down in December 2012 and is included in the cash balance of R1.4 million at year-end. The second loan facility will be drawn in 2013, as and when required. These short-term loans will be refunded by part of the US$ 650 million long-term loan also approved by the Credit Committee of the China Development Bank during the year under review.

2012 saw a number of other major highlights recorded at Wesizwe’s Bakubung Platinum Mine project. These included:

  • At 31 December 2012, a total of 219 828 fatality free shifts were worked on the Bakubung Platinum Mine Project since the start of the project.
  • The shaft sinking contract at the Bakubung Platinum Mine was awarded and the first blasts on the ventilation and main shafts took place on schedule.
  • The water supply feasibility study, conducted jointly with Maseve, was concluded and a detailed engineering and costing presented as part of the water supply feasibility study. The water supply project remains on time and within budget.
  • Wesizwe introduced a new, 4-year, apprenticeship programme focused on developing essential engineering skills.
  • The Bakubung Platinum Mine Project achieved a local employment percentage of 30.21% with 71% of that percentage coming from the Ledig area. This exceeds the requirements of the Mining Charter.
  • The Ventilation and Main shafts (both in pre-sink phase) were sunk to a depth, below surface, of 117.5m and 63.6m respectively and both shafts were on time and within budget.
  • Total project cost spent to year end was R779.1 Million with R1390, 1 million committed as at the end of the financial year.
  • The cash balance at the end of the financial year was R1.4bn
  • Eskom has delivered the Phase 1 permanent power supply of 8 MVA to the project site.

Speaking on the announcement of Wesizwe Platinum’s annual results, Mr Jianke Gao, Chief Executive Officer of Wesizwe, said:

“Despite what has been a difficult year for the mining sector as a whole in the country,   the year under review, has seen significant progress made at our flagship project, the Bakubung Platinum Mine.  The confirmation of our funding arrangements for our flagship project represented just one of several important milestones  reached during the year under review and served to demonstrate the level of confidence in the project, and in the future and the perspectives held by our Chinese shareholders on the  South African mining industry.  These achievements represented not only good news for Wesizwe, but also sent a positive signal to the industry as a whole during what was undoubtedly a challenging period of time.  Our Bakubung Platinum Mine project continues to make significant progress, on schedule and on budget, with several major milestones scheduled to be reached in the year ahead”.

In the same vein, the Chairperson of Wesizwe, Mrs. Dawn Mokhobo emphasized that the development of the Wesizwe Platinum Brand is not about today or tomorrow, or even about the next year, but it is rather about decades to come. Key to that agenda is the continued nurturing of a mutually beneficial strategic partnership with the company’s Chinese Consortium investors, thus creating a precedent for a successful Chinese/South African Cooperation to the benefit of all shareholders.

For further information, or to arrange an interview, contact:
Mr. Hamlet Morule
Executive: Corporate Affairs and Investor Relations
Telephone:  011 994 4600

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