Amplats’ refined PGM declines due to converter shutdown

Anglo American Platinum’s (Amplats) refined PGM production owned, for the third quarter 2020 decreased by 14% to 1,020,700 ounces (refined platinum production decreased by 13% to 503,800 ounces and refined palladium production decreased by 2% to 354,100 ounces).

The decrease in the quarter was largely driven by Anglo Converter Plant (ACP) Phase B unit interruptions.

As previously highlighted, the ACP Phase B unit, which was recommissioned following the incident at the ACP Phase A unit, has been operating past its useful life and therefore challenged with reliability issues.

Increased monitoring has been put in place at the ACP Phase B unit to allow for proactive risk control, ensuring an ongoing safe operating environment for its employees and to maintain the integrity of Amplats assets.

Due these proactive measures, water leak repairs, essential maintenance, testing and monitoring was conducted at the ACP Phase B, production was disrupted for 20 days during the quarter.

Refined production in the final quarter is highly dependent on the ongoing stability of Phase B, until a controlled switch-over to Phase A can be completed.

As a result, Amplats remains cautious on refined production in Q4 2020 and have revised full-year refined PGM production guidance to the lower end of its previous guidance to between 3.1 – 3.3 million PGM ounces.

The ACP stoppages have resulted in a slight increase in work-in-progress (WIP) inventory between Q2 2020 and Q3 2020. The build in WIP inventory is not lost production – only the timing of the release of WIP inventory to refined inventory is impacted.

If the ACP Phase B unit creates a material risk to employees or assets by continuing to operate, the Company will proactively conduct a safe shut-down, taking Phase B offline until the recommissioning of Phase A.

The rebuild of ACP Phase A remains on schedule with completion estimated towards the end of Q4 2020.

The Company is focused on embedding strong asset reliability, which is of key strategic importance to enable Anglo American Platinum to position itself for the next stage of safe and sustainable value creation.

PGM sales volume from production decreased by 16% to 884,900 ounces, in line with lower refined production (platinum and palladium sales volume both decreased by 17% to 448,500 ounces and 261,700 ounces respectively), as well as the rebuild of some refined inventory.

PGM sales volumes for the year will remain highly dependent on the level of refined production in Q4 2020. Anglo American Platinum Limited is a member of the Anglo American plc Group and is a leading primary producer of platinum group metals. The company is listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE). Its mining, smelting and refining operations are based in South Africa. Elsewhere in the world, the Group owns Unki Platinum Mine in Zimbabwe.

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