UPDATE: Miner Eastern Platinum
SOUTH AFRICA – Eastern Platinum Ltd. says it is suspending funding for the development of an open-pit mine and construction of a processing plant in South Africa due to a drop in metals prices amid economic upheaval.
Despite the substantial amount of work already done on the project, Eastern Platinum said Wednesday that the financial risk of continuing isn’t merited given the cost pressures the company is facing in South Africa and reduced metal prices.
The company says the price of platinum-group metals has declined significantly in the nine months since the project got the green light.
It noted that about half of South Africa’s platinum projection historically goes to Europe, which is now mired in economic uncertainty focused on several countries’ debt problems.
Platinum futures for July delivery were trading at about US$1,403 an ounce, down from as much as US$1,740 in late February, according to CME Group.
“As the open pit operation at Mareesburg was previously projected to provide a significant contribution to revenue in the near term, we see no merit in depleting the deposit and the financial resources of the company until such time as economic and operating conditions markedly improve,” Eastern Platinum president and CEO Ian Rozier said Wednesday.
[ vancouversun.com ]
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