Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) made good progress despite the challenging conditions both locally and globally, by restructuring and optimising the business for tough times and achieving a meaningful reduction in costs.
We ended the year with no fatalities. However, we were disappointed with the increase in our lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) and our serious injury frequency rate (SIFR) despite our ongoing investment in safety training at all levels. The improvement in both these rates in the last quarter of the year is encouraging.
In the fourth quarter our operations experienced an increase in the number of shifts affected by Section 54 notices issued by the Department: Mineral Resources (DMR). The increase in the number of inspections was post our SENS announcement relating to the termination of our contract with Oakbay-linked Westdawn Investments Proprietary Limited, trading as JIC Mining Services.
This matter has now been resolved by transferring employees to volume contractor Reagetswe Rasimone, who has provided services at BRPM for several years.
Despite these interruptions to our production, we achieved an 8.4% increase year-on-year in the tonnes delivered to concentrators.
This increase combined with the restructuring of our overhead and operational structures, resulted in
year-on-year cost reductions of 2.4% in rand per tonne milled and 1.4% in rand per platinum ounce.
The rand per tonne milled cost for the period under review was ZAR1 149 compared to ZAR1 177 in 2016, while the rand per platinum ounce was ZAR15 414 compared to ZAR15 639 in 2016.
Our acquisition of Maseve Investments 11 Proprietary Limited (Maseve), for which we received Competition Tribunal approval in January 2018, provides us with a capital efficient processing solution that enhances the operational flexibility of BRPM and Styldrift I.
2017 was characterised by enhanced levels of corporate activity during which we:
– concluded a ZAR1.2 billion convertible bond issue
– negotiated and concluded ZAR2 billion debt facilities
– completed our organisational redesign and restructuring process, which resulted in a 1.4% reduction year-on-year in
unit costs and a 2.6% reduction in fixed cash costs
– negotiated and concluded the value enhancing Maseve acquisition.