Strong man­ganese price a boost to Pallinghurst div­i­dend

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES - Them­be­lihle Mkhonza

PALLINGHURST Re­sources said yes­ter­day that the strength­en­ing of the man­ganese price had helped boost its div­i­dend pay­out from Tshipi é Ntle Man­ganese Min­ing to R1.5 bil­lion (R19.18bn) in 2017.

The hefty pay­out comes after Jupiter Mines, which is 18.43 per­cent owned by Pallinghurst, yes­ter­day an­nounced it would make a fur­ther $25 mil­lion dis­tri­bu­tion to its share­hold­ers in Septem­ber 2017.

Jupiter holds a 49.9 per­cent stake in lead­ing man­ganese pro­ducer, Tshipi é Ntle, which means “beau­ti­ful steel” in Tswana.

“The com­bi­na­tion of rig­or­ous cost man­age­ment, po­si­tion­ing Tshipi Borwa in the low­est cost quar­tile, with the im­prove­ment in the man­ganese price re­sulted in Tshipi mak­ing its maiden dis­tri­bu­tion of R1bn in March 2017,” the com­pany said.

The Tshipi Borwa Mine is an open pit mine, in the Kala­hari Man­ganese Field in the North­ern Cape. Tshipi Borwa mine is de­scribed as a mod­ern low cost man­ganese black eco­nomic em­pow­ered pro­ducer that has been set­ting the bench­mark for how mines should be con­structed, man­aged and op­er­ated in South Africa.

Man­ganese is a metal with im­por­tant in­dus­trial metal al­loy uses, par­tic­u­larly in stain­less steels. Man­ganese phos­phat­ing is used for rust and cor­ro­sion pre­ven­tion on steel.

“The man­ganese price has re­mained strong over the past few months and ac­cord­ingly, Tshipi has re­cently agreed to dis­trib­ute a fur­ther R500m to its share­hold­ers in Septem­ber 2017. This would re­sult in a total re­turn, in 2017, to Tshipi share­hold­ers of R1.5bn.”

Pallinghurst chair­per­son Brian Gil­bert­son said in 2016 that through the suc­cess­ful part­ner­ship with Nt­sim­bin­tle, Tshipi has be­come a large, long-life and low-cost op­er­a­tor of a world-class mine. The com­pany was ex­plor­ing all strate­gic al­ter­na­tives to re­alise share­holder value from this as­set.

Pallinghurst said pre­vi­ously that Tshipi demon­strated its abil­ity to pro­duce at a rate of up to 3 mil­lion tons per an­num, which could sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove prof­itabil­ity when high man­ganese prices are sus­tained.

Pallinghurst was es­tab­lished in 2007 as a limited life min­ing in­vest­ment fund to source and de­velop new value ac­cre­tive min­ing projects. The com­pany last month an­nounced a re­struc­tur­ing of the group, including an of­fer to ac­quire the mi­nor­ity in­ter­ests of Gem­fields.

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