Impala Platinum Says Power Shortages May Risk Production Target

Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd., the world’s second-largest producer of the metal, said its full-year production target for its Rustenburg mine in South Africa may be at risk from power cuts.

While Impala maintained its forecast for 575,000 ounces from Rustenburg, the world’s biggest platinum mine, for the year through June 30, electricity shortages “may impact planned production performance in the final quarter of the current financial year,” the company said in a statement Thursday.

“More frequent and-or severe power constraints will severely impact production into the future,” Johannesburg-based Impala said.

South Africa’s state-run electricity producer, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., is struggling to supply the country with enough electricity after 20 years of underinvestment in power plants and this year has implemented the most cuts on record. Impala is an intensive user of energy through its smelting plants that refine platinum ore.

The company’s platinum production climbed 47 percent to 301,000 ounces in the three months ended March 31, after a strike halted output last year.

Impala declined for the first time in four days, falling 2.9 percent to 65.02 rand by 3:06 p.m. in Johannesburg. Platinum for immediate delivery climbed 0.4 percent to $1,152.78 an ounce, paring the drop over the past 12 months to 22 percent.

Group unit costs climbed 25 percent to 22,899 rand ($1,942) per platinum ounce in the company’s third quarter, it said.

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