Anglo American Platinum's Mogalakwena mine in Limpopo was the standout performer in the first quarter. Picture: SUPPLIED
Anglo American Platinum's Mogalakwena mine in Limpopo was the standout performer in the first quarter. Picture: SUPPLIED

Anglo American Platinum notched up increased output in the first quarter of the year, with a standout performance from the best platinum mine in SA, the opencast Mogalakwena operation.

Amplats, the world’s leading source of mined platinum, reported a 7% increase in platinum production to 613,800oz for the first three months of the year, while palladium was 9% higher at 407,400oz.

Using a fairly new metric, Amplats, which is majority owned by Anglo American, said its total platinum group metal output — which is a measure of five related metals plus gold — increased by 8% to 1.29-million ounces. This is not a number the company has reported in the past, when it focused just on platinum.

Sales of platinum group metals (PGMs) were steady at 1.15-million ounces, while refined PGM production fell by 11% to 1.02-million ounces because of the planned maintenance of its converter plant.

Production at its three mines was 18% higher at 580,400 ounces of PGMs after an “exceptional performance from Mogalakwena, supported by strong performances from all own-mined operations”, while the joint venture operations contributed 298,000oz, an increase of 14%.

The balance of metal came from metal purchases from third parties, including Royal Bafokeng Platinum and Sibanye-Stillwater, which bought Amplats’s Rustenburg mines. The Union mine was sold to Siyanda Resources in February and that metal is now third-party material.

Looking ahead, Amplats said it anticipated full-year output would be at the upper end of a PGM production forecast of between 4.7-million and 5-million ounces, of which up to 2.4-million ounces would be platinum and 1.6-million ounces palladium.