JOHANNESBURG, Jan. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Shareholders of Atlatsa Resources Corporation ("Atlatsa" or the "Company") (TSXV: ATL; NYSE MKT: ATL; JSE: ATL) are referred to the announcements released on 2 February 2012, 3 May 2012, 14 June 2012, 27 July 2012, 7 September 2012, 22 October 2012 and 3 December 2012 respectively, relating to the agreement of key terms in respect of a transaction to restructure, recapitalize and refinance Atlatsa and the Bokoni group of companies ("Bokoni group") (the "Restructure Plan"), as well as the media releases on 27 September 2012 and 2 October 2012 relating to the conclusion of the interim implementation agreement relating to the consolidation of the Bokoni group debt and consequent reduction in its cost of borrowing ("the phase one agreement").
Re-commencement of operations after unprotected strike
On 1 October, 2012 an unprotected strike commenced at Bokoni Platinum Mines ("Bokoni Mine") as a consequence of the 2012 strike contagion within the mining sector in South Africa. No operations, other than essential services, took place at Bokoni Mine between 1 October 2012 to 1 December 2012 when the unprotected strike ended. Operations at Bokoni Mine re-commenced in mid December 2012, subsequent to the necessary safety inspections and workforce inductions having been concluded.
The unprotected strike did not result in any amendments to the existing wage agreement between Bokoni Mine and its recognised Unions, due to expire in July, 2013. The current Bokoni Mine workforce is approximately 5,000 people, comprising 3,500 own employees and 1,500 contractors.
As a consequence of the unprotected strike, Bokoni Mine is estimated to have lost approximately 35,500 PGM Oz (4E) of production during Q4 2012.
Subsequent to the annual Christmas break, the start up of mine operations in January, 2013 has been implemented according to plan, with both mine and processing operations having normalised.
Operational plan and financing strategy
The Bokoni Mine's future operational plan, capital budgeting and financing strategy has been reviewed, having regard to the negative impact of the unprotected strike and the Company's intended strategy going forward. The results of this review and its impact have been taken into consideration by the Company and Anglo American Platinum Ltd pursuant to the parties completing phase two of the Restructure Plan, anticipated to be finalized during the first half of 2013.
Once the necessary internal and regulatory approvals relating to phase two of the Restructure Plan have been obtained, the Company will publish the financial effects of the Restructure Plan and post its circular to shareholders seeking necessary approvals for its implementation.
A further detailed announcement will be released to the media in North America, on the Securities Exchange News Service in South Africa, filed on SEDAR and EDGAR, and published in the South African press, as soon as the financial effects have been finalized, and the definitive transaction agreements relating to phase two of the Restructure Plan have been executed by the Company.
Shareholders are advised to continue exercising caution when dealing in the Company's securities until a full announcement is made.
Cautionary and forward-looking information
This document contains "forward-looking statements" that were based on Atlatsa's expectations, estimates and projections as of the dates as of which those statements were made, including statements relating to the Bokoni Group restructure and refinancing and anticipated financial or operational performance. Generally, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may", "will", "outlook", "anticipate", "project", "target", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "should" and similar expressions.
Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company's actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These include but are not limited to:
- uncertainties related to the completion of the Bokoni Group restructure and refinancing;
- uncertainties and costs related to the Company's exploration and development activities, such as those associated with determining whether mineral resources or reserves exist on a property;
- uncertainties related to feasibility studies that provide estimates of expected or anticipated costs, expenditures and economic returns from a mining project;
- uncertainties related to expected production rates, timing of production and the cash and total costs of production and milling;
- uncertainties related to the ability to obtain necessary licenses, permits, electricity, surface rights and title for development projects;
- operating and technical difficulties in connection with mining development activities;
- uncertainties related to the accuracy of our mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates and our estimates of future production and future cash and total costs of production, and the geotechnical or hydrogeological nature of ore deposits, and diminishing quantities or grades of mineral reserves;
- uncertainties related to unexpected judicial or regulatory proceedings;
- changes in, and the effects of, the laws, regulations and government policies affecting our mining operations, particularly laws, regulations and policies relating to:
- mine expansions, environmental protection and associated compliance costs arising from exploration, mine development, mine operations and mine closures;
- expected effective future tax rates in jurisdictions in which our operations are located;
- the protection of the health and safety of mine workers; and
- mineral rights ownership in countries where our mineral deposits are located, including the effect of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (South Africa);
- changes in general economic conditions, the financial markets and in the demand and market price for gold, copper and other minerals and commodities, such as diesel fuel, coal, petroleum coke, steel, concrete, electricity and other forms of energy, mining equipment, and fluctuations in exchange rates, particularly with respect to the value of the U.S. dollar, Canadian dollar and South African rand;
- unusual or unexpected formation, cave-ins, flooding, pressures, and precious metals losses (and the risk of inadequate insurance or inability to obtain insurance to cover these risks);
- changes in accounting policies and methods we use to report our financial condition, including uncertainties associated with critical accounting assumptions and estimates; environmental issues and liabilities associated with mining including processing and stock piling ore;
- geopolitical uncertainty and political and economic instability in countries which we operate; and
- labour strikes, work stoppages, or other interruptions to, or difficulties in, the employment of labour in markets in which we operate mines, or environmental hazards, industrial accidents or other events or occurrences, including third party interference that interrupt the production of minerals in our mines.
For further information on Atlatsa, investors should review the Company's Annual Report disclosed in the Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2011 filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission www.sec.gov and other disclosure documents that are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. The NYSE MKT LLC has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release.
SOURCE: Atlatsa Resources Corporation
For further information:
On behalf of Atlatsa Resources
Joel Kesler, Chief Commercial Officer
Office: +27 11779 6800
Mobile: +27 82454 5556
Russell and Associates
Office: +27 11880 3924
Mobile: +27 823725816
Macquarie First South Capital
Annerie Britz / Yvette Labuschagne
Office: +27 11583 2000