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Northam Platinum Rises to Four-Month High as Profit Climbs

Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Northam Platinum Ltd. climbed to the highest close in more than four months in Johannesburg after the operator of the world’s deepest platinum mine said full-year profit rose as much as 70 percent.

The shares jumped 4.1 percent to 38.20 rand by the close, the highest since April 3.

Earnings for the year through June climbed because of “higher sales volumes coupled with a higher average basket price realized during the period,” Johannesburg-based Northam said in a statement today. Earnings per share were 81.2 cents a year earlier.

The rand’s 14 percent decline this against the dollar, the currency producers receives for metal sales, has helped offset above-inflation cost increases in South Africa and a 5.9 percent drop in platinum this year. The rand is the worst performer in 2013 among 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

Output at the company’s Booysendal mine started on July 1, with 15,000 ounces of platinum group metals produced and 3,500 ounces sold. The rebuild of the Zondereinde smelter, which Northam said would have to be redone after tests showed erosion of the facility’s walls, is going to plan, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kamlesh Bhuckory in Johannesburg at kbhuckory@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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