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Feb 2002 - Aquarius Platinum

Aquarius Platinum Ltd (AQP) – A Buying Opportunity based on potentially significant profit growth

  • The share price of AQP has drifted sideways up to about 900c for most of the past year since January 2001, despite a number of very positive fundamental improvements amidst ongoing uncertainty over Russian deliveries impacting on the pge prices, especially platinum.
  • During 2001, AQP increased the holding in its main operation (Kroondal) from 45% to 95%, and In mid-2001 upgraded the Kroondal mill by 50% by installing a regrind circuit, with production attaining that higher level before December 2001. The regrind circuit also expected recoveries to improve by about 10%. •
  • The increased holding in Kroondal was made using a placement and some Rand-denominated loans (about R629m) which with the 50% fall in the Rand against the A$ and US$ during 2001 reduced the loan by approximately one-third, from US$79m to US$52m. Operational costs have similarly fallen with the rand’s value, enhancing profitability too.
  • Marikana has started construction, and could be in production by very late 2002, while the more profitable Everest South is still in feasibility study.
  • Written by: Keith Goode
  • Friday, 08 February 2002

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