Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (Implats) is one of the world’s foremost producers of Platinum and Associated Platinum Group Metals (PGMs). Implats is currently structured around five main operations with a total of 20 underground shafts.

Our operations are located within the Bushveld Complex in South Africa and the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe, the two most significant PGM-bearing ore bodies in the world.


1.58 billion
gross profit

13.63 billion
impairment, impacts the group earnings

171 cents
per share in basic headline loss

3.7 billion
gross cash and unutilised facilities of R2.5 billion



increase in tonnes milled to 19.36 million

increase in stock adjusted unit cost

decrease in gross refined platinum

production – impacted by smelter repairs

and a fire at No 5 furnace

Implats Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve Statement 2018 at a glance

The Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve Statement as at 30 June 2018 is collated at a time when the platinum industry continues to face significant external challenges. The prevailing depressed metal prices are reflected in the fact that capital investment has virtually dried up throughout the industry. At Implats, greenfields exploration has been terminated and shaft sinking operations at Impala’s 17 Shaft and Afplats’ Leeuwkop Shafts remain suspended. Against this background material changes in the Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve estimates are detailed in this report. The material impact of the Impala strategic review is reflected in this Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve Statement. Despite the difficult circumstances some operations continue to deliver stellar production performances at Zimplats, Marula, Mimosa and Two Rivers.

The Impala Rustenburg operation underwent a detailed scrutiny during the past year in view of a loss-making outlook. The objective of the strategic review was to create a sustainable investment case for Impala Rustenburg that secures long-term profitability through optimisation and restructuring of the operations. Key consideration of the review was the financial robust business case within the context of social responsibility to secure long-term employment. The review process concluded on the most viable option to achieve a sustainable future operation at Impala. This restructuring process provided for a focused, agile and profitable future state that safeguards the future of some 27 000 employees.

To this effect the Implats Board has approved the strategy to cease operations at unprofitable shafts at Impala. The older shafts such as 1, 4 and 9 Shafts with limited remaining Mineral Reserves are targeted for harvesting. The higher cost, mature shafts such as 12 and 14 Shafts will be optimised and operated under strict performance conditions ahead of their planned cessation towards the end of FY2020. This restructuring of Impala Rustenburg will yield a change from 11 operational shafts ramping up to 750Koz platinum, to six operational shafts producing approximately 520Koz platinum per annum. A direct outcome is a material reduction in the Impala Mineral Reserve estimate.

Zimplats announced on 6 June 2018 that the issue concerning the proposed compulsory acquisition of a portion of Zimplats’ mining lease area, as well as the issue of security of Zimplats’ mining tenure, has been resolved amicably between Zimplats and the Zimbabwean Government (GoZ) to the mutual benefit of the parties. Zimplats agreed to release to the GoZ land measuring 23 903 hectares within Zimplats’ mining lease area in support of the government’s efforts to enable participation by other investors in the platinum mining industry in Zimbabwe. Following this release of land, Zimplats now holds two separate and non-contiguous pieces of land and Zimplats was granted with effect from 31 May 2018, two separate mining leases over the two pieces of land measuring 6 605 hectares and 18 027 hectares respectively. These mining leases replaced the special mining lease, which was due for renewal in August 2019, thus securing the operating subsidiary’s mining tenure. The release of land does not impact on the 30-year mine plan, but resulted in a material reduction in the Zimplats Mineral Resource estimate.

The Implats structure remained largely unchanged during the past year with operations at Impala in the Rustenburg area of the North West province, the refinery at Springs in the Gauteng province, the Marula Mine in the Limpopo province, Zimplats and Mimosa Mines operating in Zimbabwe, the Two Rivers Mine near Burgersfort in the Limpopo province and the Afplats project near Brits in the North West province. During the past year Implats secured a minority 15% interest in the Waterberg Joint Venture project (Waterberg JV Resources (Pty) Ltd) in the Limpopo province with the option to increase the Implats stake to 50.01%. At year-end the Mineral Resource estimate for the Waterberg JV project was in progress and such attributable interest is not included in this report; the size of the attributable Mineral Resource is not material at the Implats Group level.

Attributable estimates

        2018       2017  
Mineral Resources* Moz Pt     133.8       191.6  
  Moz 4E     243.9       360.4  
  Mt     1 741       2 787  
Mineral Reserves Moz Pt     21.2       22.4  
  Moz 4E     40.0       41.0  
  Mt     365       358  

* Mineral Resource estimate is inclusive of Mineral Reserves.

There has been material changes in the attributable Group Mineral Resource estimate which reduced by 57.8Moz Pt. The change is dominated by the release of land at Zimplats. The strategic decision to exit certain prospecting rights at Imbasa and Inkosi and also the Impala/Royal Bafokeng Resources Platinum (Pty) Ltd Unincorporated Joint Venture contributed notably to the reduction. The Impala strategic review to cease operations at certain shafts did not impact on the Mineral Resource estimate. The estimate as at 30 June 2018 is dominated by Zimplats and Impala, who together contribute some 74% of the total attributable Group Mineral Resources.

Attributable Mineral Resources of 133.8Moz Pt as at 30 June 2018

Attributable Mineral Resources as at 30 June 2018 (variance Moz Pt)

Overall the attributable Group Mineral Reserve estimate did not change significantly and decreased by 1.2Moz Pt to 21.2Moz Pt. The resultant estimate as at 30 June 2018 is based on a material reduction at Impala following the detailed review and also a material increase at Zimplats due to the conversion of some Upper Ores to Mineral Reserves. Furthermore the addition of the RE portion of Kalkfontein at Two Rivers had a positive impact on the combined Group Mineral Reserves. Some 47% of the attributable Group Mineral Reserves (Pt) is located at Zimplats and a further 36% at Impala.

Attributable Mineral Reserves of 21.2Moz Pt as at 30 June 2018

Attributable Mineral Reserves as at 30 June 2018 (variance Moz Pt)

The Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve Statement is compiled in accordance with guidelines and principles of the South African Code for the Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (SAMREC Code), the South African Code for the Reporting of Mineral Asset Valuation (SAMVAL Code) and Section 12.13 of the JSE Listings Requirements as updated from time to time. Supporting documentation includes detailed internal reports, SAMREC Table 1 reports, and regular third-party reviews. A summary list of Competent Persons who compiled this report is included in this document on page 10 . While Zimplats complies with guidelines and principles of the JORC Code, the definitions are either similar or do not vary materially from the SAMREC Code. The Zimplats estimates reflected in this report comply with the SAMREC Code and Section 12.13 of the JSE Listings Requirements.

Implats subscribes to the principles of transparency, materiality and competency as per the SAMREC Code.

Note that:

  • Mineral Resources are reported inclusive of Mineral Reserves unless otherwise stated
  • There are no Inferred Mineral Resources included in any of the Mineral Reserve estimates
  • The Mineral Resource Statements remain, in principle, imprecise and must not be seen as calculations
  • Rounding-off of figures may result in minor discrepancies
  • All mineral rights are in good standing without any known impediments

Long-term price assumptions in today’s money*

Platinum US$/oz 1 040  
Palladium US$/oz 1 040  
Rhodium US$/oz 2 300  
Ruthenium US$/oz 215  
Iridium US$/oz 1 020  
Gold US$/oz 1 370  
Nickel US$/t 13 750  
Copper US$/t 7 000  
Exchange rate R/US$ 13.00  
Basket US$/Pt oz 2 100  
  R/Pt oz 27 300  

* These are long-term assumptions; note that short-term assumptions approximate spot prices.

The updated allocation of Implats’ Mineral Reserves per shaft infrastructure as at 30 June 2018 is depicted in the accompanying graphic illustration. The range below surface and quantum relating to the infrastructure is shown and depicts among others the advantage at Zimplats in this regard, both from a depth and a size perspective. This graph depicts the impact of the Rustenburg review where 1, 12 and 14 Shafts at Impala will cease mining in due course and also gives an indication of the potential impact of a possible further shaft closure in future should prices demand this.

Platinum Mineral Reserve and depth range for individual Implats shafts as at 30 June 2018

Regional geological settings

PGMs are a very rare commodity – only some 500 tonnes (excluding recycling) are produced annually, of which less than 230 tonnes are platinum – yet they play a progressively more important role in everyday life, such as in autocatalysts to control vehicle emissions, in the production of lcd glass and as hardeners in dental alloy. PGMs – primarily platinum, and the associated by-products, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and gold usually occur in association with nickel, copper and chromium.

Schematic diagram of the Bushveld Complex

Schematic diagram of the Great Dyke

Relevant assessment and reporting criteria

The following key assumptions and parameters, unless otherwise stated, were used in the compilation of the estimates in this declaration:

  • A Group-wide committee, the Implats Resource and Reserve Committee (IRRC), was constituted in 2009 with the objective of promoting standardisation, compliant and transparent reporting, continuous improvement and internal peer reviews. The committee meets quarterly with representatives from the various operations and MRM disciplines. As a result, Implats developed a Group-wide protocol for the estimation, classification and reporting of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves in 2010 to enhance standardisation and to facilitate consistency in auditing. This protocol is updated annually with the aim of improving and specifically guiding the classification of Mineral Resources and to ensure compliance with the SAMREC Code.
  • While Zimplats complies to the JORC Code, the definitions are either identical or do not vary materially from the SAMREC Code. This report is compiled in compliance to the guidelines and principles of the SAMREC Code and the JSE Listings Requirements.
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