Jupiter pays back $98m to shareholders; promises to keep making ‘lots of money’
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Jupiter Mines says it is giving back shareholders most of the money it made from its share of the Tshipi manganese mine in the first half of its 2019 financial year.
Jupiter has a 49.9 per cent stake in the Tshipi manganese mine in the Kalahari manganese field of South Africa. Some 80 per cent of the world’s known economic manganese resources are contained in the field.
The newly listed manganese producer (ASX: JMS) has declared a dividend of 5c per share — a payout of $98 million — for the six months to August.
Jupiter’s financial year runs from March to February.
The news pushed shares up 4.4 per cent to an intra-day high of 36c on Monday morning.
This is the producer’s first dividend payout since it became an ASX-listed company.
Jupiter earned itself the accolade of the biggest float in years after making its debut in April on the back of a successful $240 million raising.
The dividend payout equates to a yield of 14.5 per cent, which is a 2.2 per cent increase over FY18 — when $82 million was paid out.
And Jupiter chief Priyank Thapliyal has promised that the company will continue to make profits for shareholders.
“Jupiter is basically set up as a dividend-paying company,” Mr Thapliyal told Stockhead.
“The management focus has largely being on delivering the tonnes as cheaply as possible and making lots of money.
“We’re not here to build an empire. I’m not going to basically use this cash to buy some other asset or some other project because it takes years to deliver.
“[Tshipi] is a great asset and the best thing we can do is keep on churning the tonnes because although the mine produces about 3 to 3.6 million tonnes, we’ve basically got infrastructure capable of putting 5 million tonnes out there.
“That’s largely I think why we are able to pay out so much of the cash, because for the time being all the expansion, all the upside within Tshipi has already been paid for and we really don’t need the money. So the money should basically go back into the shareholders pockets.”
The dividend record date is September 24, with the payout to be made on October 10.
In August, the South African government ordered Jupiter Mines to suspend mining at its 49.9 per cent-owned Tshipi manganese mine over alleged breaches.
But the “Section 54 Notice” has been lifted and the mine is back in operation.
Mr Thapliyal said there would not be any impact on production.
“We’ve already sold September, we’ve already sold October at fairly healthy levels,” he said. “Everything is under control.”
Jupiter is considering its options to increase its stake in the Tshipi mine.