Amplats PGM production down, ramped up converter plant
Covid-19 lockdowns across southern Africa affected Anglo American Platinum, with lower refined PGMs production due to the repairs and ramp-up of the ACP (Anglo Converter Plant). In the second quarter ended 30 June 2020, Platinum and palladium production decreased by 41% to 307,400 ounces and 34% to 228,400 ounces, respectively.
Metal in concentrate production
Own mined platinum production decreased by 45% to 188,700 ounces and palladium production decreased by 33% to 173,300 ounces. This was largely driven by Covid-19 lockdowns with Mogalakwena operating at c.50% through April before ramping up to normal levels by the end of the quarter.
Amandelbult was not operating during April but ramped up to c.50% production at the end of the quarter and is expected to reach 85% production levels by the end of the year.
Purchase of platinum in concentrate decreased by 33% to 118,700 ounces and purchase of palladium in concentrate decreased by 36% to 55,100 ounces, largely due to the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns.
Refined production and sales volumes
Refined production for platinum and palladium decreased by 73% to 160,600 and 66% to 147,400, respectively. This was largely driven by a force majeure incident at the ACP on 10 February, which led to the closure of both Phase A and Phase B units from 6 March, with Phase B returning to steady state on 12 May.
Following a subsequent closure during the first two weeks of June, the ACP Phase B has since ramped-up and is operating at full capacity. Repairs to Phase A are ahead of schedule with completion estimated at the end of Q4 2020.
Platinum sales volumes decreased by 67% to 195,700 ounces and palladium sales volumes decreased by 66% to 160,800 ounces due to lower refined production in the period, which was partially offset by a drawdown in refined metal inventory to supplement sales.
Full Year Guidance
Production guidance (metal in concentrate) is unchanged at 1.5-1.7 million ounces of platinum and 1.0-1.2 million ounces of palladium, subject to the extent of any further Covid-19 related disruptions.