JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Platinum group metals (PGMs) miner and marketer Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), which on Monday reported a record 2021 financial performance, is collectively evaluating options to access multiple forms of renewable energy across South Africa, including hydro pump power and wheeling renewable energy to the grid.
The Johannesburg-listed company set 2030 targets to improve energy efficiency and reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 30% against the 2016 baseline and to achieve zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2040, Amplats CEO Natascha Viljoen said on Monday, when the company reported earnings of R108-billion, net cash of R49-billion and a return on capital employed of 183%. (Also watch attached Creamer Media video.)
Scope 1 and 2 emissions increased to 4.58-million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent as total energy requirements increased owing to the addition of the recently commissioned sulphur dioxide abatement plant at Polokwane, which continues to draw electricity from Eskom.
The roadmap to reach the 30%-by-2030 emission cut is focused on three main areas.
The company is implementing solar photovoltaic plants to generate renewable power, with construction of a 100 MW plant to begin shortly at Mogalakwena.
“We are developing our 300 t hydrogen fuel cell mine truck and the technology will be rolled out across the rest of our fleet once proven,” said Viljoen.
The target of zero waste to landfill is also close to being achieved. “At the start of the year, we still had five outstanding work waste streams to find sustainable solutions for, after which we found solutions for three during 2021,” Viljoen told the results presentation covered by Mining Weekly.
TIMBERLESS DISHABA MINE
The modernisation programme at Amandelbult , which utilizes technologies to improve safety, mine productivity and simplify operational logistics, is advancing Amandelbult from conventional mining methods to a hybrid mining method, utilising a suite of modern equipment and continuous operations.
“We have fully rolled out rock stop nets, implemented rock movement detection systems and Dishaba has been converted into a timberless mine, removing fire risk, increasing efficiencies and directly contributing to a year without fatalities. The new mining system design has resulted in illuminated decongested workplaces that will allow for work to be executed more safely and sequentially within a more efficient mining cycle,” said Viljoen.
In areas where this has been rolled out, productivities have increased by up to 20%.
Many technologies are being trialled at Tumela East Dropdown, where global benchmarking is being used to improve the mechanised mining design and the technologies deployed.
LIFE EXTENSION, NEW SHAFT, R3.9BN CAPEX
The Mototolo Der Brochen South 30-year life extension project approved by the board last year leverages the existing Mototolo infrastructure into the down-dip Der Brochen resource, where Mototolo’s mechanised board-and-pillar extraction method will be deployed to mine Der Brochen’s upper group two orebody. This is expected to ensure that the mine continues to be positioned in the bottom half of the primary PGMs cost curve.
The project includes development of a new shaft to replace the depleting Mototolo reserves at the Lebowa and Borwa shafts. With the completion of the concentrator bottlenecking project in the third quarter of 2021, production from Mototolo Der Brochen is expected to be 250 000 PGM ounces a year.
The total capital investment is expected to be R3.9-billion in nominal terms. At long-term consensus pricing, the financial returns of the project are robust. An internal rate of return of more than 25% is expected, within six years from first production in late 2023.
AIMING FOR ZERO HARM
“I am grateful that we completed the year without any fatal incidents at our own-managed operations or at our non-managed joint-operation Modikwa. This is an important milestone for us as we work tirelessly to keep our employees safe, and as we progress towards our ultimate aim of zero harm. Unfortunately, our non-managed joint operation, Kroondal, reported two fatalities during the year,” said Viljoen.
Metal-in-concentrate production rose by 13% to 4.3-million PGM ounces in 2021 and refined production was at a record 5.1-million PGM ounces, supported by the rebuild in 2020 of the Anglo Converter Plant.
As a consequence, sales volumes rose by 82% to just over 5.2-million PGM ounces. The 22%-higher R44 511 per PGM ounce PGM basket price resulted in revenue increasing to R215-billion.
A final gross dividend of R125 a share was declared from current headline earnings.