Investment Matters

Company news: South32

South32 released its report for the Sep-16 quarter.  In terms of balance sheet strength, the company increased its net cash position by US$239m over the quarter, to be at US$551m at 30-Sep-16.  This was driven by higher commodity prices, along with cost savings measures.  The company also left its production volume and unit cost guidance unchanged for the majority of its operations.

More specifically, South African energy coal production increased 2%, and Illawara metallurgical coal production of 9.3Mt is now expected in FY-17 (was 9.5Mt), on a slightly higher than forecast cost base.  This was due to challenging but improving ground conditions. 

Expected declines in ore grades, and scheduled maintenance, resulted in a 9%, 7% and 5% drop in nickel, silver and zinc production respectively.

South African aluminium operations increased production (restarting 22 pots) as power availability improved, and South African manganese is now operating at an optimised 2.9Mwmt p.a. rate.