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

Eastern Platinum Limited

March 31, 2010 08:15 ET

Eastern Platinum Reports Results for the Year Ended December 31, 2009

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 31, 2010) - 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 year ended December 31, 2009.

Highlights for the quarter ended December 31, 2009 ("Q4 2009")

- Eastplats recorded a net profit attributable to equity shareholders of the Company of $330,000 ($0.00 per share) compared to a net loss attributable to equity shareholders of $230,176,000 ($0.34 loss per share) in the fourth quarter of 2008 ("Q4 2008").

- Production at CRM was 34,000 PGM ounces, an increase of 17% compared to 29,015 PGM ounces in Q4 2008.

- EBITDA was $10,008,000 compared to negative EBITDA of $18,179,000 in Q4 2008.

- The U.S. average delivered basket price per PGM ounce was $860, an increase of 56% compared to $550 in Q4 2008.

- The Rand average delivered basket price per PGM ounce was R6,450, an increase of 18% compared to R5,456 in Q4 2008.

- Rand operating cash costs net of by-product credits were R4,661 per ounce, a decrease of 19% compared to R5,734 per ounce in Q4 2008. Rand operating cash costs were R5,296 per ounce, a decrease of 15% compared to R6,231 per ounce in Q4 2008.

- U.S. dollar operating cash costs net of by-product credits were $621 per ounce, a 7% increase from $578 per ounce achieved in Q4 2008. Operating cash costs were $706 per ounce, an increase of 12% compared to the $628 per ounce in Q4 2008.

- Head grade increased to 4.1 grams per tonne in Q4 2009 from 4.0 grams per tonne in Q4 2008.

- Average concentrator recovery increased to 79% from 76% in Q4 2008.

- Development meters decreased by 29% to 3,254 meters and on-reef development decreased by 27% to 2,135 meters compared to Q4 2008, mainly as a result of the planned reduction in reserve development that was initiated in November 2008.

- Stoping units increased by 19% to 55,153 square meters compared to Q4 2008.

- Run-of-mine rock ore hoisted increased by 14% to 321,393 tonnes compared to 280,933 tonnes in Q4 2008.

- Run-of-mine ore processed increased by 8% to 321,983 tonnes in Q4 2009 compared to 298,514 tonnes in Q4 2008.

- The Company's Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) was 3.45 in Q4 2009, an increase of 78% compared to 1.94 in Q4 2008.

- At December 31, 2009, the Company had a cash position (including cash, cash equivalents and short term investments) of $21,658,000 (December 31, 2008 – $61,063,000).

Highlights for the year ended December 31, 2009

- Eastplats recorded a net profit attributable to equity shareholders of the Company of $5,650,000 ($0.01 per share) compared to a net loss attributable to equity shareholders of $209,381,000 ($0.31 loss per share) in the year ended December 31, 2008.

- Production at CRM was 130,338 PGM ounces, an increase of 11% compared to 117,909 PGM ounces in 2008.

- EBITDA was $28,526,000 compared to EBITDA of $34,720,000 in 2008.

- The U.S. average delivered basket price per PGM ounce was $723, a decrease of 42% compared to $1,255 in 2008.

- The Rand average delivered basket price per PGM ounce was R6,006, a decrease of 40% compared to R9,956 in 2008.

- Rand operating cash costs net of by-product credits were R4,306 per ounce, a decrease of 12% compared to R4,893 per ounce in 2008. Rand operating cash costs were R5,286 per ounce in 2009, a decrease of 4% compared to R5,530 per ounce in 2008.

- U.S. dollar operating cash costs net of by-product credits were $521 per ounce, a 16% decrease from $622 per ounce achieved in 2008. Operating cash costs were $636 per ounce, a decrease of 6% compared to the $674 per ounce in 2008.

- Head grade increased to 4.1 grams per tonne in 2009 from 4.0 grams per tonne in 2008.

- Average concentrator recovery increased to 79% from 76% in 2008.

- Development meters decreased by 26% to 15,035 meters and on-reef development decreased by 23% to 9,302 meters compared to 2008, as a result of the planned reduction in reserve development that was initiated in November 2008.

- Stoping units increased by 11% to 187,856 square meters.

- Run-of-mine ore processed increased by 4% to 1,225,508 tonnes in 2009 from 1,175,519 tonnes in 2008.

- The Company's twelve month (LTIFR) was 2.21 in 2009, a decrease of 18% compared to 2.70 in 2008.

"We are pleased to end the year strongly with record quarterly production after a challenging third quarter that was disrupted by industry-wide labour action. Despite this disruption, all aspects of our mining operations at CRM improved in 2009 compared to 2008, with increased production, increased recoveries, and operating cash costs down by 16%. With the addition of new ounces from the Crocette section within the next twelve months, our growth plans for CRM to be a 200,000 ounce per year producer are back on track. We are also currently evaluating alternatives for the development of our Eastern Limb projects in order to significantly increase the growth profile of the Company. With an increasing production profile at CRM, low cost operations, no debt, and with all our assets intact, Eastplats is very well positioned to benefit quickly as PGM prices continue to 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 attached audited consolidated financial statements and accompanying Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A") for the year ended December 31, 2009. These financial statements and MD&A, and the comparative financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2008 are all available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the Company's website www.eastplats.com.

Teleconference call details

Eastern Platinum Limited will host a telephone conference call on March 31, 2010 at 10:00am Pacific (1:00pm 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 Wednesday April 7, 2010 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 – 681,313,264

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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