Aquarius to limit mining to preserve cash
LONDON - Aquarius Platinum, the world's fourth largest platinum producer, plans to limit mining activities to concentrate on conserving cash and guarding its reserves until economic circumstances changed.
The platinum sector in South Africa, home to around 80% of known platinum reserves, is battling the effect of falling prices, weak demand, soaring costs and agovernment safety drive that has cut production as operations aresuspended for safety violations.
"We seem to be one of the few companies in the platinum industry that is willing pro-actively to take the required tough decisions to close the mines," Aquarius chief executive Stuart Murray said, referring to the three mines where the company has halted operations.
"I would hope that the other industry players follow suit and cut the unneeded production that is depressing the industry."
The company, Aquarius Platinum, said yesterday that it would suspend all non-essential capital expenditure and focus on its Kroondal, Mimosa and tailings operations to maximise the generation of cash flow.