JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) achieved an 8% year-on-year increase in platinum group metals (PGM) production to 1.2-million ounces for the quarter ended March 31, owing to improved operational performances across its portfolio.
Palladium production was up 9% year-on-year, at 407 400 oz, and platinum output up 7% year-on-year, at 613 800 oz, on the back of “exceptional performances” from Amplats’ own operations, including Mogalakwena, Amandelbult and Unki.
Mogalakwena’s PGM production increased by 23% year-on-year to 327 600 oz as a result of the company targeting higher-grade areas, as well as the optimisation of the North Concentrator Plant. Concentrator recoveries subsequently increased by 5%.
Platinum and palladium production at Mogalakwena increased by 25% and 22%, respectively.
Meanwhile, Amandelbult’s PGM production increased by 12% to 207 000 oz as a result of improved underground efficiencies and higher grades, while Unki’s PGM production increased by 9% to 45 800 oz as a result of increased milling of ore stockpiled prior to the planned concentrator maintenance that was completed in December 2017.
Union mine was sold to Siyanda Resources on February 1, after which Union production was treated as third party purchase of concentrate.
As a result, PGM mined production at Union decreased by 70% to 23 000 oz for the first quarter, with mined platinum and palladium production down 69% and 70% respectively.
Amplats’ total joint venture PGM production increased by 14% to 298 000 oz, owing to improved stoping efficiencies at Mototolo, improved stoping efficiencies and plant recoveries at Modikwa and operational efficiency improvements at Kroondal.
The company noted that, following the strong first-quarter production, its full-year production is expected to be at the top end of the guidance range of 4.7-million to 5-million PGM ounces, including 2.3-million to 2.4-million ounces of platinum and 1.5-million to 1.6-million ounces of palladium.