Amplats lifts quarterly output
Miner hails Mogalakwena and says annualperformance will be at upper end of forecast
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.