SA African Rainbow Minerals FYH1 earnings fall 30% on lower iron ore prices.

By bne IntelliNews February 27, 2013
South African diversified mining group African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) said its headline earnings for the six months to end-December 2012 fell 30% y/y to ZAR 1.41bn (EUR 121.9mn), driven down mainly by lower iron ore prices, coupled with above inflation unit cost increases at some operations. The company added that the bright spot in its half-year results were improved performances at Nkomati Nickel and ARM Coal. Headline earnings per share, which exclude certain one-time items and are the major profitability gauge in South Africa, fell to 654 cents in H1 FY 2013 from 937 cents in H1 FY 2012. Sales revenue remained mostly flat at ZAR 8.8bn despite higher sales volumes for iron ore, platinum group metals (PGMs), nickel, chrome and thermal coal. ARM said iron ore prices received fell by 28% y/y in dollar terms, which was partly offset by an 11% weakening of the rand against the US dollar. The miner sold 7.4 million tonnes of iron ore, by 10% more y/y. It sold 129% more Dwarsrivier chrome ore, 92% more nickel, 21% more coal to national power utility Eskom, 12% more coal on export markets, and 7% more PGMs. ARM said it would continue to focus on growth through the ramping up of production in iron ore, nickel, coal and copper. Its Lubambe Copper Project in Zambia commenced commissioning of ore in October 2012 and produced 3,214 tonnes of copper in concentrate by the end of 2012. The project is on schedule to ramp up to 45,000 tonnes of copper per year in FY2015. The Khumani iron ore mine in South Africa is ramping up production. Its output rose by 14% y/y to 7.7 million tonnes in H1 FY2013. The tonnes milled at the Nkomati nickel mine grew by 19% y/y to 3.74 million tonnes and improved mining and metallurgical recoveries led to an 87% y/y increase in the production of nickel in concentrate to 11,258 tonnes. The Goedgevonden coal mine produced 4.41 million tonnes saleable product in H1 FY2013, up 58% y/y and higher than the average steady state capacity of 6.7 mtpa. ARM said its board had approved the early works for a ZAR 5.8bn four-year expansion project at Black Rock Mine, targeted to boost its annual capacity from 3 million tonnes to 4 million tonnes of manganese ore.

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