Aquarius drops as strike action and falling prices hit production

City A.M. Reporter
SHARES in Aquarius Platinum fell by eight per cent during trading yesterday to touch a 12-year low, after the world’s fourth-largest platinum producer reported a 14 per cent drop in quarterly production.

Revenue for the fourth-quarter also declined 20 per cent, hurt by lower platinum prices, which fell about 12 per cent during the period.

“Poor platinum price and industrial action continues to hamper things and it is clear that while Aquarius Platinum is making every effort to protect profitability they are by no mean out of the woods,” Numis Securities said in a note.

Aquarius noted that average platinum dollar prices decreased in the fourth quarter, with platinum and palladium falling six per cent and eight per cent respectively, while rhodium fell nine per cent.

It added that its Marikana and Everest mines had been placed on care and maintenance during the quarter.

The firm also warned that it could be hit by strike action in the coming months.

“The likelihood of industrial action over the South African winter is high,” said chief executive Stuart Murray.