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Northam boosts first half refined metal output

21 february 2024

Northam Holdings’ output of refined 4E equivalent from its operations increased by 10.6% to 434,977 oz 4E in the six months ended 31 December 2023 (H1 2024) compared to 393,309 oz 4E, a year earlier. 

It said Zondereinde’s metal production was flat, as expected ahead of the commissioning of 3 shafts, whilst growth from the Booysendal South mine and Eland was in line with their projection.

Group production of chrome concentrate also increased by 31.8% to 666,692 tonnes compared to the previous year’s 505,841 tonnes, on the back of increased UG2 tonnages and recovery improvements at all operations. 

“This was particularly pleasing, given the recent strengthening of the chrome price,” it said.

“The group continued to progress its strategic goals of sustainably growing safe production down the sector cost curve.”

Northam said challenges remain, particularly concerning metal prices, mining inflation and the potential for higher frequency and longer duration Eskom load curtailment events. 

“Our capital growth programme remains on track and is improving our operational resilience during the current weak market conditions,” it said. 

Notham said sales revenue for the period was R15 billion ($787,2 million), a decrease of 25.5% compared to R20.1 billion ($1,05 billion) a year earlier.

The decrease in sales revenue, despite an increase in 4E sales volumes of 10.4% to 457,357 oz 4E is attributable to a significantly lower 4E Rand basket price of R24,269 ($1,274)/oz 4E compared to R42,046 ($2,208)/oz 4E a year earlier, representing a decrease of 42.3%. 

Total revenue per equivalent refined 4E ounce sold decreased by 32.5% to R32,785 ($1,720)/oz 4E from the previous year’s R48,577 ($2,548)/oz 4E. Cash profit margin per 4E ounce decreased to 28.1% compared to 54.5% a year earlier.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished