Platinum group metals (PGMs) miner Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has reported a 10% year-on-year decrease in metal-in-concentrate production to 990 400 oz for the fourth quarter of 2022.
Output at the company’s own-managed mines decreased by 12% year-on-year to 557 600 oz, owing to lower grades from Mogalakwena and Unki and infrastructures closures at the Amandelbult operation, which was offset by a strong performance at the Mototolo operation.
The Mototolo operation saw improved ground conditions, leading to an increase in grade. Further stability at the plant following a successful concentrator debottlenecking project also led to improved recoveries and production.
Further, refined PGMs production came in at 877 200 oz – 37% lower year-on-year. This was owing to a delay in the Polokwane smelter rebuild, which was, in turn, delaying owing to the delivery of substandard materials for furnace construction.
The smelter rebuild was only completed at the end of the fourth quarter, with the ramp-up having largely been completed by the end of January.
As a result of the smelter rebuild delay and the impact of loadshedding, Amplats advises of a net increase of 100 000 oz in built-up work-in-progress inventory.
Fortunately, the built-up inventory was offset by strong performances from the Waterval and Mortimer smelters, the company notes.
In line with lower refined production, Amplats recorded a 31% decrease in PGM sales to 883 400 oz for the quarter under review.
Amplats’ guidance for metal-in-concentrate production for the year, as well as refined production guidance, remains unchanged at between 3.6-million and 4-million ounces.
“We remain on track to achieve our 2023 guidance, with a strong focus on operational excellence and cost discipline in the coming year,” says CEO Natascha Viljoen.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
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