JOHANNESBURG, Nov. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Atlatsa Resources Corporation (Atlatsa or the Company) (TSXV: ATL; NYSE MKT: ATL; JSE: ATL) announces its operating and financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013. This release should be read together with the Company's financial statements and Management Discussion & Analysis filed on www.atlatsaresources.co.za and www.sedar.com. Currency values are presented in South African Rand (ZAR), Canadian Dollars ($) and United States Dollars (US$).
Commenting on the results Atlatsa's Chief Executive Officer, Harold Motaung, said, "Whilst Bokoni Mine delivered another positive quarterly operational performance, with much improved development at our two key ramp up projects, together with the commissioning of our open cast mine to steady state, it is with deep regret that the quarter was also marred by the loss of three members of our work force. The board and management of Atlatsa would like to express our deepest condolences to the bereaved families. Our focus at Bokoni remains to continue to improve our operational performance, whilst maintaining the high safety standards we have set for ourselves."
*PGM means platinum group metals (4E), comprising platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold.
Summary of operational and financial performance
|Operating results||Q3 2013||Q3 2012||%|
|Recovered grade milled||g/t PGM||3.50**||3.84||(8.8)||3.72**||(5.7)|
|PGM oz produced||Oz||47,611||38,819||22.7||42,901||3.5|
UG2 mined to total|
|Operating cost/tonne milled||ZAR/t||1,105||1,145||3.5||1,158||4.5|
|Operating cost/PGM oz||ZAR/PGM oz||10,140||9,577||(5.9)||9,743||(4.1)|
frequency rate (LTIFR)
Total permanent labour|
Expressed in Canadian
|Q3 2013||Q3 2012||%|
|Q2 2013||Variance |
|Cash operating costs***||49,244||43,707||(12.7)||44,405||10.9|
|Cash operating profit/(loss)||4,921||229||>100||4,022||22.4|
|(Loss)/ Profit after tax||(15,455)||49,795||(>100)||(13,255)||16.6|
|(Loss)/Profit attributable to Atlatsa shareholders||(12,880)||67,549||(>100)||(9,291)||38.6|
|Basic and diluted (loss)/profit per share||(0.03)||0.16||(>100)||(0.02)||50.0|
**Includes lower-grade open cast material.
*** Cash operating costs represent all on mine production and processing costs, excluding depreciation charges.
Notwithstanding Bokoni's LTIFR improving by 70.5% when compared to Q3 2012, this quarter was marked by a disappointing safety performance for the Company.
Having achieved two million fatality free shifts after 15 months of continuous operations, the quarter was marred by three fatal accidents which occurred in separate incidents on August 6, August 28 and September 21. The fatalities resulted from two fall-of-ground accidents and one rigging-related accident.
Management at Bokoni has engaged extensively with its work force and the DMR's Safety Division in an effort to help prevent similar accidents occurring in the future.
Q3 2013 represented a key quarter for entrenching Bokoni's new operational strategy, as part of the Company's Restructure Plan announced in March 2013.
In terms of the new operational plan, Bokoni will place significant focus on its underground mine development by increasing the mining footprint at its key Brakfontein Merensky and Middelpunt Hill (MPH) UG2 operations, which remain in ramp-up phase through to 2018. During this ramp-up phase underground mine production will be supplemented with ore generated from the Merensky open cast mine to meet installed concentrator processing capacity of 160,000 tpm.
Key operational features for the quarter were as follows:
The Company's revenue increased materially when measured on a quarterly and nine month comparative basis. These increases are attributable to much improved production and sales volumes, together with an improved ZAR PGM revenue basket price achieved during the periods under review, impacted largely by the weakening of the ZAR relative to the US$.
The ZAR PGM basket price achieved for Q3 2013 was 19.9% higher year-on-year at ZAR11,620 when compared to ZAR9,688 for Q3 2012. The US$ PGM basket price decreased by 0.8% year-on-year to US$1,163 compared to US$1,172 in Q3 2012.
Unit operating costs remained relatively flat year-on-year, notwithstanding provisions made during the financial quarter for annual wage increases, a 12% increase in power utility charges and a 25% increase in working cost development charges associated with a 46% year-on-year increase in primary development at Bokoni's ramp up operations.
ZAR per tonne milled unit costs decreased by 3.5% year-on-year from ZAR 1,145/t to ZAR 1,105/t as a result of increased throughput from both underground and open cast operations.
ZAR per PGM ounce unit costs increased by 5.9% to ZAR 10,140/ PGM oz from ZAR 9,577/ PGM oz in the comparative period of 2012.
Total capital expenditure for Q3 2013 was $12.5 million, compared to $14.2 million for Q3 2012.
Earnings and profitability
On March 27, 2013, the Company announced that it had entered into a Restructure Plan with Anglo American Platinum, which will have a material positive impact on the Company's operational and financial outlook going forward (Restructure Plan).
During Q2 2013 the Company's shareholders approved the Restructure Plan in an Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders held on June 28, 2013.
During Q3 2013 the following conditions for implementation of the Restructure Plan were met:
The implementation of the Restructure Plan remains subject to the fulfilment or, where appropriate, waiver of the following conditions precedent:
For additional information on the Restructure Plan, refer to the press releases of Atlatsa dated between February 2, 2012 and October 31, 2013 all of which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and the Company's website www.atlatsaresources.co.za.
Accounting Policies and Going Concern
The FY 2012 financial statements are prepared on the basis of accounting policies applicable to a going concern. The Restructure Plan described above was successfully approved by Atlatsa shareholders on June 28, 2013, but remains subject to fulfilment or waiver of certain conditions precedent.
The audit report included in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F (20-F) contained an opinion from its independent registered public accounting firm, KPMG Inc., which included a "going concern" explanatory paragraph. The Company discusses this matter in Note 2 to the annual financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2012, filed on March 28, 2013 on www.sedar.com, on the Company's website and in its 20-F. Shareholders should refer to the Q3 2013 MD&A and condensed consolidated interim financial statements (note 2) for an update of the Company as a going concern, which applies to the Company as of the date of this release.
Note on conference call
Atlatsa will not be holding a conference call or presentation to accompany these results. The Company will resume detailed shareholder communications in due course after completion of its Restructure Plan.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. The NYSE MKT has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release.
Cautionary and forward-looking information
This document contains "forward-looking statements" that were based on Atlatsa's expectations, estimates and projections as of the dates as of which those statements were made, including statements relating to the Bokoni Group Revised restructure Plan and anticipated financial or operational performance. Generally, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may", "will", "outlook", "anticipate", "project", "target", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "should" and similar expressions.
Atlatsa believes that such forward-looking statements are based on material factors and reasonable assumptions, including the following assumptions: the Bokoni Mine operating plan will continue to be implemented as expected and will achieve improvements in production and operational efficiencies as anticipated; the Revised Restructure Plan will be implemented in a timely manner; the Ga-Phasha, Boikgantsho, Kwanda and Platreef Projects exploration results will continue to be positive; contracted parties provide goods and/or services on the agreed timeframes; equipment necessary for construction and development is available as scheduled and does not incur unforeseen breakdowns; no material labour slowdowns or strikes are incurred; plant and equipment functions as specified; geological or financial parameters do not necessitate future mine plan changes; and no geological or technical problems occur.
Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company's actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These include but are not limited to:
For further information on Atlatsa, investors should review the Company's Annual Report disclosed in the Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2012 filed at www.sedar.com and with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov and other disclosure documents that are available at www.sedar.com.
SOURCE Atlatsa Resources Corporation
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