A bird in flight
JUBILEE PLATINUM, which listed on the JSE last year, is little heralded. But the firm is promising to ratchet up the action in South Africa’s burgeoning platinum sector.
“This is not the time to be sitting still,” says Colin Bird, Jubilee Platinum’s unassuming CEO. “We’re intensely active in finding the best route for a better valuation,” With an estimated 20 platinum exploration and early stage production companies kicking around SA’s Bushveld Complex, Bird believes consolidation in the sector is inevitable.
The inward secondary listing on the JSE enabled it to structure its empowerment deal and gave it some political cachet. But it’s also about using shares in SA.
It’s worth acknowledging that Bird is not the only person talking about consolidation. Aquarius Platinum, which is better positioned with more financing power at its fingertips, is another more likely catalyst of change.
Yet if there’s a dark horse that can capitalise on the overtraded platinum exploration sector, Jubilee Platinum might be it.
Currently, Jubilee Platinum’s main focus in SA is its 25% stake in Tjate Platinum Corporation, an interest it bought for R35m. By spending R14m more on an exploration and feasibility study, the company can lift its stake to 35%. Estimates are Tjate has 65m oz of platinum group metals and gold, of which 23m oz are attributable to Jubilee Platinum.
Putting Jubilee Platinum together with another producer could, therefore, make it the next mid-tier platinum play after Aquarius. It currently only has a market capitalisation of about R475m, which Bird acknowledges is small.
Meanwhile, there are other growthrelated pressures on the company, including the fact that it’s bursting the banks of its own resources.
The discovery of more prospects in Madagascar, where Jubilee Platinum is also active, will continue to stretch management. Bird acknowledges the possibility of accepting a partner into its latest Madagascan find, a large copper/nickel prospect with significant platinum group metals. “We’re delighted with it,” says Bird.
Another possibility is that Jubilee Platinum might divide into two separately listed companies – platinum and base metals – before embarking on consolidation in SA.
No time to be sitting still. Colin Bird