Mr abiel Mngomezulu - MinteK pResiDent anD ceo. Mintek Executive Managers 2011/12 From left: Dr Makhapa Makhafola - ReseaRch & DevelopMent; Mr peter craven - Business DevelopMent; adv Mamokete Ramoshaba - coRpoRate seRvices; Mr alan McKenzie - technology; Mr sakhi simelane - Finance.
MintEk COntinuEd tO rEMain sOlid throughout the year, in spite of various challenges and global economic uncertainties. The sacrifices we had to make and tough decisions taken during the difficult previous years have paid off much sooner than anticipated. throughout the year, Mintek managed to record a better than budgeted for income, mainly due to unexpected work received, benefits received from prior research work in the form of licence fees and the rescheduling of contract research work. The demand for commercial work continues to be strong, a number of business units are fully booked for up to six months ahead and a number of project proposals continued to be received up to the end of the financial year. Hopefully these developments will create a pipeline of projects that are sustainable in the medium to long term. Financial Summary Mintek achieved a surplus of R43-million for the financial year, a margin even higher than the record previously achieved before the global recession of 2009. This is a significant improvement compared to the surplus of R751 000 that we had anticipated for the year. It is even more impressive considering that Mintek was R2,7 million in the red at the end of the last financial year and had in the year prior to that, at the height of the global economic crisis, managed a modest surplus of only r1,4 million. These outstanding results can be attributed to income derived from contract research work, license fees for the Conroast technology and higher than anticipated interest earnings. the higher interest earnings resulted from larger cash reserves as well as a Mintek-wide entrenched culture of cost savings. Mintek has also generated net working capital inflows of R43-million for the year under review as a result of the significant decrease in receivables from better collection strategies, which are proving to be effective, and the increase in deferred income due to payments received in advance. these funds have been placed in short-term deposit accounts in order to maximise investment income. Technical Highlights Mintek is commissioning another demonstration project, at a capital cost of R44-million, in collaboration with anglo american Platinum. Once in operation, the 12 tons per day atomiser plant is expected to run for at least 24 months at Bay 2. this project enabled Mintek to re-hire, for the duration of the contract period, 20 of the 39 workers who were retrenched as a result of the global financial slump in 2010 - as had been promised when these retrenchments were effected. Two large pilot smelting tests in Bay 1 DC arc furnace smelting facility involving the smelting of 300 tonnes and 100 tonnes of concentrate were completed. An interesting development with the heightened gold activity in both the rest of the African continent and the rest of the world has been the sudden increase in interest in Mintek's Minataur gold refining technology. The Hydrometallurgy Division is currently exploring a number of potential business opportunities as well as the development of simplified flow sheets to provide solutions for a wider group of potential clients. Mintek will continue to explore the developing markets, especially the gold sector in West africa, for this technology and many others developed at Mintek. Water and energy efficiency are regarded as important industry drivers going forward. As indicated last year, as a research organisation that supplies technology, services and products and the know-how for the benefit of CEO's report 6 mintek annual report 2012