It’s fair to say Impala Platinum (Implats) CEO Nico Muller is managing expectations regarding the platinum group metals (PGMs) mining firm’s growth plans when he says it is “developing a radar screen” for “future-facing” metals.
To be clear, future-facing metals is a term intended to include battery metals such as nickel, copper and cobalt, but which also extends beyond them.
“It’s not part of our immediate plans,” Muller said at the firm’s year-end results announcement earlier this month before adding: “We don’t have a rich pipeline of projects, but we do recognise the global demand patterns are shifting over the next decade to 15 years.
“We do recognise it, and to that extent we are developing a radar screen to educate ourselves in terms of how these commodity demand patterns are going to shift. We want to be in a position to tap into that. We will be evaluating that as part of our growth plans going forward,” he said.
Mining executives are cautious about promising growth given the overspend of previous commodity cycles. They want to demonstrate their discipline by rewarding shareholders as fulsomely as they can.
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