JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Anglo American Platinum’s (Amplats’) first-quarter production was significantly impacted on by power disruptions, with total platinum group metals (PGMs) production down 6% year-on-year.
The year-on-year dip to 998 900 oz of PGMs was also as a result of the one-off benefit of additional ore stockpile which lifted production at Mototolo and Unki in 2018, as well as operational challenges across the portfolio.
PGMs production at Amplats’ own-managed mines increased by 4% to 601 000 oz, owing to the inclusion of Mototolo.
The acquisition of the remaining 50% of Mototolo was concluded on November 1, 2018, which is when 100% of its production became own-mine production. On a 100% basis, Mototolo produced 57 700 oz of PGMs.
Consequently, joint venture PGMs production decreased by 29% to 210 400 oz.
The Mogalakwena mine’s PGMs production decreased by 6% to 307 200 oz, largely owing to power disruptions, as well as lower concentrator recoveries, partly offset by an increase in grade.
Amandelbult’s PGMs production decreased by 7% to 192 800 oz, as a result of major hoisting capacity and shaft upgrades which delayed hoisting for two weeks, as well as electrical breakdowns exacerbated by power disruptions.
Unki’s PGMs production decreased by 5% year-on-year to 43 300 oz, largely owing to the 2018 first quarter being boosted by additional production mined from ore stockpiles.
Normalising for this impact, production at Unki was flat.
PGM concentrate purchases from third parties decreased by 44% to 216 800 oz largely owing to the transition of material from Sibanye-Stillwater, while refined PGMs production decreased by 14% to 871 200 oz following the triennial planned stocktake at the precious metals refinery, maintenance at processing operations, as well as power disruptions.
Sales volumes were down 21% to 884 900 oz in line with lower refined production.
Despite the setbacks during the quarter, Amplats' full-year production guidance remains unchanged at 4.2-million to 4.5-million ounces of PGMs.