Our business

Southern Africa

Impala Refining Services (IRS)

Impala Refining Services (IRS) was created in July 1998 as a dedicated vehicle to house the toll refining and metal concentrate purchases built up by Implats. IRS is situated in Springs some 35 kilometres east of Johannesburg. IRS provides smelting and refining services through offtake agreements with Group companies (except Impala) and third parties.

Operational review 2015

 

Business summary

Main areas of activity

  • Provides smelting and refining services through offtake agreements with Group companies (except Impala) and third parties
 

The IRS model

The IRS model mitigates Implats’ exposure to mining risk by using Impala’s excess smelting and refining capacity. At the same time this business also enables junior operators to exploit smaller PGM deposits.

Typical IRS products include:
  • flotation concentrates from Marula, Mimosa, Two Rivers and other small mining contracts;
  • furnace matte from Zimplats; and
  • selected base metal residues and other secondary materials.

IRS enters into either metal purchase agreements or toll refining agreements, or a combination of the two.

In metal purchase agreements a percentage of the contained value (allowing for Impala’s cost and a profit margin) is paid after an agreed processing period. In toll refining agreements, IRS charges the client a smelting, refining and handling fee and returns the metal to the client after an agreed processing period. Impala, in turn, charges IRS a market-related fee for its expertise and the use of its processing facilities.

With the exception of mine-to-market operations, IRS has little or no control over volumes received from either third party or toll treatment contracts.

IRS production

000 oz   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011  
  Zimplats   216   226   180   185   175  
  Marula   71   77   71   63   71  
  Mimosa   113   103   97   100   99  
  Two Rivers   168   168   157   145   142  
Mine-to-market operations   568   575   505   493   487  
  Third-party purchases, recycling and toll   133   192   368   205   408  
Grand total   701   767   873   698   895  

 

OUTLOOK

Access to spare smelting and refining capacity from Impala positions IRS well to process additional material from new customers.  Opportunities in this regard are evaluated on an ongoing basis.

KEY STATISTICS

Refined production     2015   2014   2013   2012   2011  
  Platinum   ('000oz)  700.7   767.0   872.3   697.5   895.1  
  Palladium   ('000oz)  511.3   513.0   669.8   541.1   680.6  
  Rhodium   ('000oz)  94.7   107.3   118.4   111.1   134.8  
  Nickel   (t)  12 320   11 939   11 983   10 582   10 829  
  PGM refined production   ('000oz)  1 480.8   1 604.5   1 854.9   1 527.9   1 918.2  
               
Metal returned              
  Platinum   ('000oz)  -   94.5   188.6   120.7   219.5  
  Palladium   ('000oz)  0.5   28.2   190.0   147.5   210.0  
  Rhodium   ('000oz)  -   9.0   35.5   24.8   41.7  
  Nickel   ('000t)  3 344   3 186   3 193   3 093   3 370  
               
Cost              
Cost of sales   (Rm)  (17 303)  (16 794)  (13 287)  (12 730)  (12 860) 
  Metals purchased   (Rm)  (15 840)  (16 665)  (12 926)  (12 147)  (12 649) 
  Smelting   (Rm)  (327)  (308)  (297)  (225)  (232) 
  Refining    (Rm)  (471)  (450)  (399)  (378)  (366) 
  Selling and administration     (34)  (31)  (37)  (37)  (30) 
  Increase/(decrease) in metal inventories   (Rm)  (631)  660   372   57   417  
               
Financial ratios              
  Gross margin (%)  8.1   9.2   9.6   9.5   9.9  
               
Total sales volumes              
  Platinum   ('000oz)  696.4   707.1   629.8   638.2   684.2  
  Palladium   ('000oz)  493.9   527.1   460.5   468.3   474.2  
  Rhodium   ('000oz)  90.6   94.4   82.5   94.1   87.1  
  Nickel   (t)  8 756   9 195   8 095   8 209   7 863  
               
Prices achieved              
  Platinum   (US$/oz)  1 278   1 427   1 532   1 634   1 691  
  Palladium   (US$/oz)  807   742   659   689   655  
  Rhodium   (US$/oz)  1 145   982   1 099   1 549   2 254  
  Nickel   (US$/t)  15 884   14 702   16 314   19 723   23 757  
               
Exchange rate achieved   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011  
  Exchange rate achieved   (RUS$)  11.26   10.30   8.79   7.65   7.00