Gupta firm expects near R1bn loss as uranium prices crash

Cape Town – Gupta-owned Oakbay Resources and Energy said it expects a headline loss per share of over 100%, due to an after tax impairment charge of R879.837m related to the continued decline in global uranium commodity prices.

Oakbay said it expects to report a loss for the year ended 28 February 2017 of R936.549m, massively down from the R16.913m loss it made the previous year.

Oakbay said in a statement on Thursday that its overall financial performance for the year deteriorated compared to the prior year, “primarily due to the effect of an after tax impairment charge of R879.837m that was recognised during the financial year in relation to the company’s uranium mineral resource asset, as well as due to weaker year-on-year gold production”.

“The impairment charge resulted due to the continued decline in global uranium commodity prices,” it said.  

It expects to release its audited results for the year ended 28 February 2017 on Friday.

Uranium is the base mineral used to create fuel for nuclear power stations.

South Africa’s bid to procure 9.6 GW of nuclear energy power stations was unexpectedly thwarted this year, when a high court cancelled the procurement programme. The Department of Energy decided not to contest the matter, but said it will restart the process to fall in line with more transparent and legislative procedures.

The Guptas, who are at the centre of allegations of state capture, have had their bank accounts blacklisted and were implicated in the Public Protector’s State of Capture report.

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