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Amplats output for first-quarter increases

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ANGLO American Platinum Limited (Anglo) has reported strong first-quarter performance, with total platinum group metal (PGM) production increasing by 7% to 1.02 million ounces attributable to the lower impact from Covid-19.

DUMISANI NYONI
The company mines 40% of the world’s platinum metals at the Bushveld Complex in South Africa and the Unki mine in Zimbabwe.

Own-managed mines PGM production increased by 6% to 594 500 ounces, including a 17% production increase from Mogalakwena, while joint operations PGMs production (mined and purchase of concentrate) increased by 6% to 200 700 ounces, according to the company’s production report for the first quarter ended 31 March 2021.

Refined PGMs production (owned production) increased by 59% to 973 000 ounces, as the processing assets were back at normal operating capacity, with the Anglo Converter Plant (ACP) smelting higher tonnage and performing ahead of expectation, the company said.

PGMs 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.

Commenting on the performance, Anglo American Platinum CE Natascha Viljoen said the company had strong production and refined production performance this quarter, despite the ongoing implications of Covid-19.

“Although we had no work-related fatalities in the quarter, we are disappointed with the increase in injuries and plans are in place to continue safety improvements and ensure a sustained turnaround.”

“Total PGMs production increased by 7%, largely due to a 17% increase in production from Mogalakwena, and despite continuing implications from Covid-19 which led to a longer return-to-work process particularly at Amandelbult and Mototolo,” Viljoen said.

The Anglo boss said they saw strong recovery in their refined production, which increased by 59% compared to the first quarter of 2020, as processing operations were back at normal operating capacity following the completion of the ACP rebuild in November 2020.

“Since then, the ACP has been performing ahead of expectations, and able to smelt more tonnes from Polokwane smelter. Refined production, however, was affected by the planned maintenance at the Base Metals Refinery.”

“Sales volumes were strong in Q1, increasing 66% as refined production was supplemented by the drawdown of minor metals from refined inventory, following robust demand for these metals,” Viljoen said.

The company said production guidance for metal-in-concentrate is unchanged at 4.2 to 4.6 million ounces. The same applies to refined production guidance at 4.6 to 5.0 million ounces.

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