Eastern Platinum Limited

Eastern Platinum Limited

August 13, 2009 08:35 ET

Eastern Platinum Reports Results for the Three Months Ended June 30, 2009

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 13, 2009) - Mr. Ian Rozier, President and CEO of Eastern Platinum Limited ("Eastplats") (TSX:ELR)(AIM:ELR)(JSE:EPS) is pleased to report financial results for the three months ended June 30, 2009.

Highlights for the quarter ended June 30, 2009 ("Q2 2009")

- The mine's safety record continues to compare favourably with other platinum producers in South Africa, with a Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) of 1.94 this quarter compared to 1.85 in Q2 2008.

- Eastplats recorded a net profit attributable to equity shareholders of the Company of $317,000 ($0.00 per share) compared to a net profit attributable to equity shareholders of $12,148,000 ($0.02 per share) in the second quarter of 2008 ("Q2 2008").

- EBITDA was $6,529,000 compared to $28,259,000 in Q2 2008 and $7,018,000 in the first quarter of 2009.

- Production at the Crocodile River Mine ("CRM") increased by 10% to 33,383 PGM ounces, from 30,311 PGM ounces in Q2 2008.

- The average delivered basket price per PGM ounce was $679, a decrease of 59% compared to $1,657 in Q2 2008, but an increase of 15% compared to $590 in the first quarter of 2009.

- Operating cash costs were $554 per ounce, a decrease of 20% compared to the $696 per ounce achieved in Q2 2008.

- Operating cash costs net of by-product credits decreased by 29% from $696 per ounce in Q2 2008 to $494 per ounce this quarter.

- Rand operating cash costs per ounce have decreased by 25% since the fourth quarter of 2008 reflecting the success of the Company's operating cost cutting measures which had been implemented since December 2008. Rand operating cash costs per ounce decreased from R6,231 per ounce in the fourth quarter of 2008 to R5,326 per ounce in the first quarter of 2009, and to R4,673 per ounce in Q2 2009.

- The integration of the chrome recovery plant in 2008 continues to be a significant factor in cost reduction. Chrome penalties decreased by 76% from $2,631,000 in Q2 2008 to $621,000 this quarter.

- Average recovery rates for the quarter improved to 80%, compared to 73% in Q2 2008.

- Head grade increased to 4.2 grams per tonne this quarter compared to the 4.0 g/t that had been consistently achieved in the previous five quarters.

- Stoping units increased by 16% and run-of-mine tonnes hoisted increased by 12% compared to the same quarter in 2008.

- Run-of-mine ore processed decreased by 3% to 304,354 tonnes in Q2 2009 from 313,767 tonnes in Q2 2008.

- At June 30, 2009, the Company had a cash position (including cash, cash equivalents and short term investments) of $21,910,000, compared to $21,966,000 at March 31, 2009.

"CRM is performing well and the second quarter results reflect the successful implementation of changes made to our mining plan at the start of the year. During a very volatile period of metal prices and exchange rates, we have achieved a good operating performance and have established ourselves as one of the lowest cost producers in the PGM sector. We will continue to focus on safety, on lowering our cost profile even further, and on preserving our cash balances. We are progressing with planning for our other projects so that we are ready to deliver when PGM prices improve," said Ian Rozier.

The qualified person having reviewed the operating disclosures presented in this press release is Mr. Brian Montpellier, V.P. Project Development, P. Eng.

Financial Information

For complete details of financial results, please refer to the unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements and accompanying Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A") for the three months ended June 30, 2009. These financial statements and MD&A, and the comparative financial statements for the three months ended June 30, 2008 are all available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the Company's website www.eastplats.com.

Teleconference call details

Eastplats will host a telephone conference call on Thursday, August 13, 2009 at 11:00 am Pacific (2:00 pm Eastern) to discuss these results. The conference call may be accessed by dialing 1-800-319-4610 in Canada and the United States, or 1-604-638-5340 internationally.

The conference call will be archived for later playback until Thursday, August 20, 2009 and can be accessed by dialing 1-604-638-9010 or 1-800-319-6413 and using the pass code 4219 followed by the number sign (#).

Total shares issued and outstanding - 680,557,369

Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Information

This press release, which contains certain forward-looking statements, is intended to provide readers with a reasonable basis for assessing the financial performance of the Company. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. The words "believe", "expect", "anticipate", "contemplate", "target", "plan", "intends", "continue", "budget", "estimate", "may", "will", "schedule" and similar expressions identify forward looking statements. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by the Company, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Known and unknown factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, fluctuations in the currency markets such as Canadian dollar, South African Rand and U.S. dollar, fluctuations in the prices of PGM and other commodities, changes in government legislation, taxation, controls, regulations and political or economic developments in Canada, the United States, South Africa, or Barbados or other countries in which the Company carries or may carry on business in the future, risks associated with mining or development activities, the speculative nature of exploration and development, including the risk of obtaining necessary licenses and permits, and quantities or grades of reserves. Many of these uncertainties and contingencies can affect the Company's actual results and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements made by, or on behalf of, the Company. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those acknowledged in such statements. Specific reference is made to the Company's most recent Annual Information Form on file with Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities for a discussion of some of the factors underlying forward-looking statements.

The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by applicable laws.

No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein.

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