Other Elements and Materials

Amplats increases production, sales volumes

Amplats increases production, sales volumes
Mining News Pro - Despite the negative impact of the second wave of Covid-19 infections in South Africa, platinum group metals (PGMs) miner Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) increased its PGMs production by 7% year-on-year to 1.02-million ounces in the first quarter of this year.

CEO Natascha Viljoen attributes the higher output largely to a 17% increase in production from Mogalakwena.

This was despite the continuing impact of Covid-19, which led to a longer return-to-work process for employees, particularly at the Amandelbult and Mototolo mines.

PGMs production from Amplats' own-managed mines increased by 6%, to 594 500 oz, while PGMs output from joint operations (mined and purchase of concentrate) increased by 6% to 200 700 oz.

In terms of refined PGMs production (owned production), Amplats managed to gain normalised operating capacity of its processing assets, with the Anlgo Converter Plant (ACP) smelting more tonnes and performing ahead of expectations. This resulted in refined PGMs production increasing by 59% to 973 000 oz.

The ACP Phase A rebuild was completed in November 2020. The rebuild of ACP Phase B is on track to be completed in the second half of this year.

PGM sales volumes (excluding sales from trading) increased by 66% to 1.13-million ounces, as sales from production were supplemented by the drawdown of minor metals from refined inventory in support of increased demand.

Amplats has retained its full-year guidance, with expected PGMs production of between 4.2-million and 4.6-million ounces. Guidance for its refined PGMs production is between 4.6-million and 5-million ounces.

Viljoen, meanwhile, notes that although the company experienced no work-related fatalities in the first quarter, it was nonetheless “disappointed” by an increase in injuries, which has seen it put plans in place to continue implementing safety improvements and ensure a sustained turnaround.

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