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Anglo Platinum reports higher PGM sales volumes but much lower prices

Anglo American Platinum's Mogalakwena operation.

Anglo American Platinum's Mogalakwena operation.

24th October 2023

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor

     

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JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Anglo American Platinum on Tuesday reported an increase in the sales volumes of platinum group metals (PGMs) from production, excluding trading, in the three months ending September 30.

Owing to a drawdown in refined stock, the JSE-listed company’s sales volumes from production increased by 2% to 951 800 oz compared with the third quarter of last year.

Moreover, Eskom load-curtailment had a minimal impact on refined PGMs production for the quarter with less than 5 000 oz deferred for future processing and toll-refined PGMs production increasing by 6% to 159 800 PGM oz.

However, this year’s average third-quarter basket price of $1 539 per PGM ounce was 39% lower than in the third quarter of 2022.

“We remain on track to deliver our 2023 guidance, with a strong focus on operational resilience in the last quarter through safe and sustainable operations,” said CEO Craig Miller, who highlighted the company’s global safety event of October 4 as reflecting commitment to ensuring that every colleague returns home uninjured after every working day.

A zero-fatality 46% improvement bettered the total recordable case frequency rate at managed operations to 1.28 per million hours.

Total PGMs production, expressed as five element PGMs metal-in-concentrate plus gold, decreased by 2% to 1 029 600 oz.  

PGMs production from own-managed mines decreased by 3% to 568 000 oz mainly as a result of the expected lower grades from Mogalakwena and lost production owing to poor ground conditions at Amandelbult’s Dishaba mine.

Refined PGMs production from owned production, excluding tolling, decreased by 9% to 909 700 oz owing to an unplanned multi-municipal water stoppage in July at the company’s processing operations in Rustenburg, resulting in a 54 000 oz lost opportunity, and lower metal-in-concentrate production, resulting in a 26 000 oz lost opportunity.

Refined platinum production decreased by 6% to 428 500 oz and refined palladium production decreased by 10% to 285 500 oz.

Nickel production decreased by 5% to 5 400 t and copper production by 21% to 3 100 t owing to lower toll refined third-quarter production.

“We are on track to meet our full-year production and unit cost guidance,” the company stated in a release to Mining Weekly.

Metal-in-concentrate PGMs guidance for 2023 is 3.6-million to 4.0-million PGM ounces and the exact same guidance figures have been forecast for full-year refined PGMs production, with the metal-in-concentrate output made up of 1.65-million to 1.85-million ounces of platinum, 1.15-million to 1.25-million ounces of palladium, and 0.8-million to 0.9 million ounces of other PGMs and gold.

Unit cost per PGM ounce produced is anticipated to be at the upper end of the range considering foreign exchange rate volatility, load curtailment and continued inflationary pressure. Guidance for unit cost per PGM ounce produced is R16 800 to R17 800.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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