Eastern Platinum Limited
TSX : ELR
AIM : ELR
JSE : EPS

Eastern Platinum Limited

May 11, 2011 20:50 ET

Eastern Platinum Reports Results for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2011

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 11, 2011) - Mr. Ian Rozier, President and CEO of Eastern Platinum Limited (TSX:ELR)(AIM:ELR)(JSE:EPS) ("Eastplats") is pleased to report financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2011.

Summary of results for the three months ended March 31, 2011 ("Q1 2011"):

  • Eastplats recorded a net loss attributable to equity shareholders of the Company of $5,633,000 ($0.01 loss per share) in Q1 2011 compared to earnings of $824,000 ($0.00 per share) in the first quarter of 2010 ("Q1 2010").
  • EBITDA decreased 29% to $6,412,000 in Q1 2011 compared to $8,996,000 in Q1 2010.
  • PGM ounces sold decreased 17% to 25,387 ounces in Q1 2011 compared to 30,531 ounces in Q1 2010.
  • The U.S. average delivered basket price per PGM ounce increased 18% to $1,136 in Q1 2011 compared to $959 in Q1 2010.
  • The Rand average delivered price per PGM ounce increased 11% to R7,963 in Q1 2011 compared to R7,202 in Q1 2010.
  • Rand operating cash costs net of by-product credits increased 16% to R6,167 per ounce in Q1 2011 compared to R5,336 per ounce in Q1 2010. Rand operating cash costs increased 28% to R8,090 per ounce in Q1 2011 compared to R6,315 per ounce in Q1 2010.
  • U.S. dollar operating cash costs net of by-product credits increased 24% to $880 per ounce in Q1 2011 compared to $711 per ounce achieved in Q1 2010. U.S. dollar operating cash costs increased 37% to $1,154 per ounce in Q1 2011 compared to the $841 per ounce in Q1 2010.
  • Head grade decreased to 3.9 grams per tonne in Q1 2011 from 4.1 grams per tonne in Q1 2010.
  • Average concentrator recovery increased to 79% in Q1 2011 compared to 78% in Q1 2010.
  • Development meters increased by 50% to 4,219 meters and on-reef development increased by 26% to 2,434 meters compared to Q1 2010.
  • Stoping units decreased 14% to 44,674 square meters in Q1 2011 compared to 51,760 square meters in Q1 2010.
  • Run-of-mine ore hoisted decreased by 19% to 247,369 tonnes in Q1 2011 compared to 304,309 tonnes in Q1 2010.
  • Run-of-mine ore processed decreased by 16% to 245,500 tonnes in Q1 2011 compared to 290,854 tonnes in Q1 2010.
  • The Company's Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) improved to 1.54 in Q1 2011 compared to 1.77 in Q1 2010.
  • At March 31, 2011, the Company had a cash position (including cash, cash equivalents and short term investments) of $349,719,000 (December 31, 2010 – $350,292,000).

"The traditional slow start in January combined with the changes to improved stope support standards and the consequent retraining of underground personnel resulted in a significant decrease in production and, correspondingly, earnings for the quarter. We are confident that the impact of this is short term and that production and earnings will quickly return to anticipated levels. Development of Crocette is progressing, and in the Eastern Limb, we anticipate awarding construction contracts for Mareesburg and the concentrator shortly," said Ian Rozier.

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

Financial Information

For complete details of financial results, please refer to the unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements and accompanying Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A") for the three months ended March 31, 2011. These financial statements and MD&A, and the comparative unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements for the three months ended March 31, 2010 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, May 12, 2011 at 10:00 am Pacific (1:00 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, May 19, 2011 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 – 908,187,807

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.

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

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