Taking a gamble on platinum
CEO Johnny Copelyn denies speculation of plans to mop up other low-priced opportunities in the sector
Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI), best known for its investment in gaming and leisure group Tsogo Sun, is having a flutter on the beleaguered local platinum mining sector.
The group’s latest annual report discloses a typically adventurous $6m investment in Canadian-listed mining exploration company Platinum Group Metals, which is prospecting a palladium and platinum resource in the Waterberg area.
The investment snags HCI a useful 15% stake in Platinum Group Metals, as well as board representation and a seat at the table of the jointventure project arrangement with Jse-listed Impala Platinum.
This is not HCI’S first resource investment. The group already owns sizeable investments in the coal sector and in energy through Impact
Oil & Gas.
HCI CEO Johnny Copelyn has played down any speculation that HCI is looking to mop up other low-priced opportunities in the platinum sector. He emphasises that Platinum Group Metals offers a low-cost opportunity to enter the sector, and should not be interpreted as HCI holding grand ambitions in mining.
“It’s not an extravagant investment … and [it’s] much smaller than what we have invested to date in Impact,” he says.
In his annual review, Copelyn concedes that platinum mines have “struggled terribly” for a number of years, with platinum prices sinking to a point where several mines appear to be making such deep losses that there is little hope for their survival.
He adds that the commodity price seems likely to remain under pressure as the automotive industry moves towards electric cars, which do not require platinum-containing catstrengthen