S.Africa’s Tharisa full-year profit down 31% on weak PGM prices

(Reuters) – South African miner Tharisa on Thursday posted a 31% decline in annual profit, mainly due to a drop in platinum group metal (PGM) output and prices.

The PGM and chrome concentrates co-producer’s headline earnings per share (HEPS) – the main profit measure in South Africa – was $0.283 in the year ended Sept. 30, compared with $0.411 the previous year.

Tharisa said strong demand for chrome from China, as well as firmer prices underpinned by growth in the Chinese domestic ferrochrome and stainless steel industries, helped partly offset the impact of the PGM price decline.

The miner’s chrome concentrates output was flat at 1.58 million tons, while its PGM production was 144,700 ounces, 19.3% lower than last year.

Tharisa said it realised a 25.8% increase in the average price of metallurgical chrome during the year, while its average basket price for PGMs was 26.2% lower.

Weak PGM prices and uncertain global economic prospects have forced Tharisa to delay commissioning its $361 million Karo mine in Zimbabwe by up to a year to June 2025.

The company declared a final dividend of $0.02 per share, bringing the total to $0.05 for the year, compared with $0.07 in the previous year.

(Reporting by Nelson Banya; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Mrigank Dhaniwala)