Impala Platinum Looking for Bidders for Tailings Facility at Marula Mine

- May 14th, 2018

Shares of South Africa’s Impala Platinum rose more than 4 percent after the company said it is seeking bidders for a tailings facility at the property.

South Africa’s Impala Platinum (JSE:IMP) is showing signs of recovery from prior community protests, and is now seeking tenders to build a tailings facility at its Marula mine.

Last Friday (May 11), the company posted an advertisement in the local Mail & Guardian newspaper, asking for help with the project from third-party lenders willing to agree to specific requirements.

Implats stated, “[bidders are required] to use 100 percent unskilled local labour [and] maximize the use of local subcontractors.”

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Following the request for bidders, shares of Implats rose more than 4 percent.

The increase is much needed for Implats and its Marula mine, which was on the precipice of closing last year following the collapse of a nearby chrome project. As a result, the company had to face protests from local residents who were excluded from revenue flows.

Additionally, Marula, which is located on the eastern limb of South Africa’s platinum belt, has been plagued by social strife that is rooted in poverty and joblessness. The atmosphere surrounding the mine has led to more than 400 incidents that have disrupted mine operations since 2016.

Moving in a positive direction, last month Implats noted that Marula was rebounding strongly by ramping up production. The company also stated that the mine is one of the company’s few assets in South Africa that is not losing money.

“At Marula, restructuring processes implemented prior to the start of the financial year have already delivered an improved cost and operational performance,” Implats said in a press release.

“Further work over the next few months will prioritise: measures to bed down improvements; securing operational continuity; and acquiring additional tailings deposition capacity,” the company added.

As of 12:45 p.m. EST on Monday (May 14), shares of Implats were trading at ZAC 1,957. The company’s share price has been on a downtrend since the start of the year, and has sunk more than 40 percent year-to-date.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Nicole Rashotte, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.  

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