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Anglo Platinum makes R131bn socioeconomic contribution, records best-ever safety year

Strong performance from Unki, Zimbabwe.

Strong performance from Unki, Zimbabwe.

20th February 2023

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor

     

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JOHANNESBURG (minngweekly.com) – The contribution of platinum group metals (PGMs) company Anglo American Platinum to society in 2022 totalled R131-billion, made up mainly of taxes and royalties at R19-billion, salaries and wages at R15-billion, local procurement of R25-billion, capital investment of R17-billion and dividends of R55-billion, Mining Weekly can today report.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) totalled R74-billion and there were zero work-related fatal incidents at managed operations, with the JSE-listed company’s zero harm focus resulting in the lowest-ever number of safety incidents.

Return on capital employed remained at 111%.

Protecting the lives and livelihoods of employees moved to a broader focus on employee well-being to include mental health support, as well as the successful implementation of a new employee share ownership plan, or Esop, ‘Thobo’, meaning ‘Harvest’.

A delay in the completion of the rebuild of the Polokwane smelter because of substandard materials, as well as Eskom loadshedding, resulted in total refined production of 3.8-million PGM ounces, with sales in line with refined production.

Metal-in-concentrate production of four-million PGM ounces was helped by strong performances from Unki, in Zimbabwe, and Mototolo, in Limpopo, which was offset by lower volumes at Mogalakwena owing to grade, planned infrastructure closures at Amandelbult, and lower third-party receipts

Established Scope 1 and Scope 2 reduction pathways to meet carbon neutrality targets by 2040 include a partnership with Envusa Energy, fast-tracking 30% of total energy required, a first major step towards energy independence.

Anglo Platinum continued to support communities through innovative partnerships, including the Olifants River Management Model, as well as the market development of hydrogen at a time when policy in the US and Europe, is accelerating the global hydrogen economy.

Total refined production of 3.8-million PGM ounces was impacted by the delay in the completion of the Polokwane smelter rebuild owing to the delivery of sub-standard materials, partially offsetting improved utilisation at Waterval and Mortimer smelters.

Year-end net build-up of work-in-progress inventory was some 100 000 PGM ounces.

The second-highest dollar basket price on record averaged $2 551/PGMs ounce, with palladium reaching a record first-quarter high and the price of platinum rising after being negatively affected by a higher dollar price for much of the year.

Unit cost performance increased to R15 300 per PGM ounce on above consumer price index and inflationary increases in utilities and consumables and lower production.

Refined production is expected to be between 3.6-million and four-million ounces this year, while unit costs are forecast between R16 800 and R17 800/PGM ounce. Total capital expenditure of between R22-billion and R23-billion is expected, which includes stay-in-business capital of between R10-billion and R11-billion and future growth investments of R4.4-billion.

In terms of market outlook, most analysts expect the dollar to weaken further in 2023, supporting PGM prices. A combination of pent-up demand, low inventories, strong labour markets and stimulus released into the Chinese economy should help the automotive recovery rally continue through the year.

The mining Ebitda margin of 57% was helped by the optimisation of the benefits of diversified metal prill splits.

MANAGEMENT CHANGES

With Anglo Platinum CEO Natascha Viljoen serving a notice period of up to 12 months, management team structure has been strengthened.

Riaan Blignaut, currently executive head of asset reliability and safety, health, environment, and energy, has been appointed COO and will take full responsibility for operational delivery, including mining and processing from March 1.

Wade Bickley, currently head of underground mining at Anglo American, has been appointed as executive head mining technical, tasked with transforming the operational environment with responsibility for business improvement, integrated planning, and digital solutions to improve mining technical performance.

Agit Singh, currently the head of human resources operations and previously general manager of the Precious Metals Refinery, has been appointed as the executive head processing technical, focussing on technical processing aspects as well as technology and performance improvement across the value chain.

Gary Humphries, after a career spanning 22 years with Anglo Platinum and being an integral part of the executive team, has decided to step away from the business.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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