(Bloomberg) -- Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. plans to cut spending by more than half a billion dollars over the next five years, after fiscal first-half profit plunged 88% on lower metal prices.

The company known as Implats joins its South African peers — Anglo American Platinum Ltd. and Sibanye Stillwater Ltd. — in reporting a slump in earnings as the markets for platinum, palladium and rhodium declined sharply last year. Implats has yet to follow its rivals in announcing thousands of potential job cuts in its home country, but Chief Executive Nico Muller said that if ongoing restructuring efforts aren’t enough, the miner is prepared to suspend production at unprofitable shafts.

Muller said the company will cut planned spending by more than 10 billion rand ($520 million) over five years, targeting the biggest savings for operations in Zimbabwe and Canada. The flagship Rustenburg complex in South Africa – where 13 employees died in an accident in November – is currently the company’s only cash-positive assets, the CEO said on a call Thursday.

“We expect 2024 to be a difficult year characterized by anemic precious metal consumer and investor sentiment as economic and geopolitical uncertainty linger,” Implats said in a statement.

The firm has already trimmed its workforce by 3% to almost 68,000 people, implementing the heaviest cuts at its Canadian palladium project. The company’s ambition to diversify into metals key to the energy transition, such as copper and nickel, has been put “on hold,” Muller said.

Implats is reevaluating plans for its Styldrift mine, which the company only took over last year when it acquired Royal Bafokeng Platinum Ltd., according to Muller. Styldrift’s mechanized operations — prized as key to the future profitability of Implats’s adjacent shafts in Rustenburg — will take up to two years to reach full production, he said. 

Profit in the six months through December dropped to 1.6 billion rand. Implats didn’t declare an interim dividend, citing softer platinum-group metal prices and the impact of several key capital projects. 

Implats rose 0.3% in Johannesburg trading, paring this year’s loss to 29%.

(Updated with Muller comments on Styldrift in sixth paragraph)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.