News releases

Eastern Platinum Limited reports results and announces restatement of comparatives for the first quarter of 2024

Vancouver, British Columbia, May 14, 2024 – Eastern Platinum Limited (TSX: ELR)(JSE:EPS) (“Eastplats” or the “Company”) is pleased to report that it has filed its condensed interim consolidated financial statements for the three months ended March 31, 2024 and the corresponding management’s discussion and analysis (“MD&A”). Below is a summary of the Company’s financial results for the first quarter of 2024 (“Q1 2024”) in comparison to the restated period in 2023 (“Restated Q1 2023”) (all amounts in USD unless specified):

  • Revenue for Q1 2024 decreased to $15.7 million (Restated Q1 2023 – $18.0 million), representing a $2.3 million or -12.9% decrease.
  • Mine operating income increased by $1.8 million (or 49.5%) to $5.3 million in Q1 2024 (Restated Q1 2023 – $3.5 million) while gross margin increased from 19.6% in Restated Q1 2023 to 33.7% in Q1 2024.
  • Operating loss was $0.03 million in Q1 2024 compared to an operating income of $1.8 million in Restated Q1 2023.
  • Net loss attributable to equity shareholders was $0.9 million ($0.00 loss per share) in Q1 2024 versus net loss attributable to equity shareholders of $0.4 million ($0.00 loss per share) in Restated Q1 2023. The decrease in Q1 2024 net income was largely attributable to the increase in overall operating costs associated with the soft restart of the Zandfontein underground operations located at the Crocodile River Mine (“CRM”) in South Africa and foreign exchange losses incurred in the period due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar.
  • The Company had a working capital deficit (current assets less current liabilities) of $16.7 million as at March 31, 2024 (December 31, 2023 – working capital deficit of $15.5 million) and short-term cash resources of $20.7 million (consisting of cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments) (December 31, 2023 – $21.3 million)

Wanjin Yang, Chief Executive Officer and President of Eastplats commented, “We are encouraged by the first quarter results despite the challenging PGM market price environment. Our focus is on chrome recoveries from the remaining tailings resource as we approach the end of the retreatment project. We expect to start earning chrome and PGM revenue from the Zandfontein underground section at the CRM in June as we ramp up run-of-mine tonnages.”

Prior Period Error – Restatement of Comparatives

Certain 2023 comparative numbers in the condensed interim consolidated financial statements and corresponding MD&A have been restated to correct an error in the condensed interim consolidated financial statements for the three months ended March 31, 2023, that was identified subsequent to the period-end and is discussed below.

As discussed in the previous news release of May 3, 2024, in connection with the preparation of the Company’s consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2023, an error was identified in the recognition of revenue related to a chrome concentrate sales transaction in fourth quarter of 2022 which impacted the Company’s previously filed audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2022 and its unaudited condensed interim consolidated financial statements for the three months ended March 31, 2023. Chrome concentrate revenue is recognized when control is transferred to the buyer and payment is considered probable. A sales transaction that was included in deferred revenue at the end of 2022 and recognized as revenue in the first quarter of 2023 should have been recognized in fourth quarter of 2022 based on the fact that the Company had met all of its required performance obligations at the time, as supported by the underlying contract and bill of lading. Previously reported revenue for the first quarter of 2023 was overstated by $4.0 million, with associated errors in production costs, accumulated other comprehensive loss and deficit.

The following table presents the effects of the restatement on the individual line items within the Company’s unaudited Condensed Interim Consolidated Statement of Income (Loss), Condensed Interim Statement of Comprehensive Income (Loss) and Condensed Interim Statement of Financial Position, expressed in thousands of U.S. dollars, except for per share amounts. The corrected prior period error had no impact on cash flows.

 Three months ended March 31, 2023
 As previously reportedAdjustmentAs restated
 $$$
Revenue22,058(4,021)18,037
Production costs(15,360)2,324(13,036)
Mine operating income (loss)5,233(1,697)3,536
Operating income (loss)3,497(1,697)1,800
Net income (loss) for the period1,343(1,697)(354)
Net income (loss) attributable to equity shareholders of the Company1,344(1,697)(353)
Earnings (loss) per share, basic and diluted0.01(0.01)0.00
Comprehensive income (loss) for the period(2,267)(1,766)(4,033)
 As at March 31, 2023
 As previously reportedAdjustmentAs restated
 $$$
Accumulated other comprehensive loss(321,406)(13)(321,419)
Deficit(850,900)13(850,887)

The Company’s audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2023 reflected these changes. The unaudited interim consolidated financial statements and related financial information for the affected period contained in the Company’s unaudited interim filings prior to May 13, 2024 should no longer be relied upon.

The Company has a primary listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange and a secondary listing on the JSE Limited.

The Company has filed the following documents, under the Company’s profile on SEDAR+ at www.sedarplus.ca:

The condensed interim consolidated financial statements for the three months ended March 31, 2024 are available for download at https://www.eastplats.com/investors/quarterly-reports/F2024/  and are also available on the JSE’s website at: https://senspdf.jse.co.za/documents/2024/JSE/ISSE/EPS/Q124.pdf

Operations

The Company derived revenue from the processing of PGM and chrome concentrates during Q1 2024 and Q1 2023. Eastplats’ majority of revenue (approximately 93% for Q1 2024) is from chrome concentrate sales to third parties.

Summary of chrome production for the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023:

 Q1 2024Q1 2023
Total Tailings Feed (Tons)385,299631,954
Average grade Cr concentrate38.57%38.65%
Tons of Cr concentrate79,882147,090

Summary of PGM production for the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023:

 Q1 2024Q1 2023
Tons of PGM concentrate9451,156
PGM ounces produced (6E)*1,4752,134

*PGM 6E ounces are estimates until final exchanges and umpire results have been concluded, which can take up to three months.

About Eastern Platinum Limited

Eastplats owns directly and indirectly a number of PGM and chrome assets in the Republic of South Africa. All of the Company’s properties are situated on the western limb (Crocodile River Mine) and eastern limb (Kennedy’s Vale, Spitzkop, Mareesburg) of the Bushveld Complex, the geological environment that hosts approximately 80% of the world’s PGM-bearing ore.

Operations at the Crocodile River Mine currently include re-mining and processing its tailings resource from the Barplats Zandfontein tailings dam and mining and processing ore from the Zandfontein underground section to both produce PGM and chrome concentrates.

For further information, please contact:

EASTERN PLATINUM LIMITED
Wylie Hui, Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary
whui@eastplats.com (email)
(604) 568-8200 (phone)

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This news release contains “forward-looking statements” or “forward-looking information” (collectively referred to herein as “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of applicable securities legislation.  Such forward-looking statements include, without limitation, forecasts, estimates, expectations and objectives for future operations that are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of the Company.  Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words “will,” “plan,” “intends,” “may,” “could,” “expects,” “anticipates” and similar expressions. Further disclosure of the risks and uncertainties facing the Company and other forward-looking statements are discussed in the Company’s most recent Annual Information Form available under the Company’s profile on www.sedarplus.ca.

In particular, this press release contains, without limitation, forward-looking statements pertaining to: expected earnings from chrome and PGM revenue from the Zandfontein underground section at the CRM in June 2024 and ramping-up the Zandfontein underground operations. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions made by and information currently available to the Company.  Although management considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect.  By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these statements as a number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the beliefs, plans, objectives, expectations, estimates and intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, unanticipated problems that may arise in the Company’s production processes, commodity prices, lower than expected grades and quantities of resources, need for additional funding and availability of such additional funding on acceptable terms, economic conditions, currency fluctuations, competition and regulations, legal proceedings and risks related to operations in foreign countries.

All forward-looking statements in this news release are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, the “Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Information” section contained in the Company’s most recent Management’s Discussion and Analysis available under the Company’s profile on www.sedarplus.ca. The forward-looking statements in this news release are made as of the date they are given and, except as required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intention or obligation, and does not undertake, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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