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Platfields Shares Fall to Half Forecast Price on Debut

Platfields Ltd. shares fell to half the price forecast by the South African precious metals explorer in debut trading on the stock exchange in Johannesburg.

“It’s important we allow the market to steadily find itself,” Chief Executive Officer Bongani Mbindwane said in Johannesburg today. “We expect the price to continue finding itself in the next two to three months then stabilize.”

Shares in Platfields traded at 65 cents at the 5 p.m. close in the city, valuing the company at 513 million rand ($75 million). Platfields, based in Cape Town, forecast shares would trade at about 1.60 rand to 1.80 rand, it said in an e-mailed statement on Dec. 6.

The company plans to raise about 200 million rand by the first quarter of next year to bring its Leeukop platinum project to feasibility stage, Mbindwane said in an interview.

Platinum, used in jewelry and to cut pollution from cars, will reach $2,000 an ounce by the end of 2011 on Asian demand and efforts to cut carbon emissions in Europe, he said.

Platinum for immediate delivery climbed to a 27-month high of $1,808.50 an ounce on Nov. 9 and last traded at $1,700.75.

South Africa is the world’s largest producer of platinum and the third-largest miner of gold.

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