Total PGM production increased by 59% to 1,057,900 ounces (against prior period Q2 2020), with platinum production n59% higher at 488,300 ounces, and palladium production increasing by 46% to 334,400 ounces.
The improved performance was due to a strong recovery from the prior period which was materially impacted by Covid-19. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have an impact on working conditions, but strict protocols have been maintained, limiting Covid-19 impacts in the period to 7,200 PGM lost ounces, compared to the prior period where Covid-19 impacted production by 521,600 PGM lost ounces.
PGM PRODUCTION FROM OWN-MANAGED MINES
Total PGM production from own-managed mines increased by 59% to 601,500 ounces (platinum production increased by 65% to 274,500 ounces, while palladium production rose by 40% to 221,700 ounces).
Mogalakwena had a solid operating performance, with PGM production increasing by 11% to 308,400 ounces (platinum increased by 12% to 131,000 ounces and palladium production increased by 11% to 142,900 ounces), owing to higher concentrator throughput, and no Covid-19 impact on production.
Amandelbult had a strong recovery, with PGM production increasing by 270% to 185,300 ounces (platinum increased by 273% to 94,400 ounces and palladium production increased by 267%, to 42,900 ounces). Despite the recovery in production, Amandelbult does continue to be impacted by higher numbers of positive Covid-19 infections, and therefore increased absenteeism as employees recover.
Mototolo PGM production increased by 194% to 59,900 ounces (platinum production increased by 191% to 27,600 ounces and palladium increased by 197% to 17,200 ounces). The increase was mainly due to the impact of Covid-19 on production in the prior period. Production was also partially offset by concentrator maintenance required to integrate new infrastructure as part of the debottlenecking project that was completed at the end of Q1 2021.
Unki PGM production increased by 53% to 47,900 ounces (platinum production increased by 55% to 21,500 ounces and palladium production increased by 55% to 18,700 ounces), owing to higher concentrator throughput and recovery, with no Covid-19 impact on production.
PGM PRODUCTION FROM JOINT OPERATIONS
PGM production from Joint operations increased by 112% to 215,600 ounces (platinum production increased by 114% to 97,000 ounces and palladium production increased by 113% to 63,000 ounces). The increase was mainly due to the impact of Covid-19 on production in the prior period.
Kroondal PGM production increased by 110% to 146,800 ounces (platinum and palladium production increased by 77% to 70,000 ounces and 37,200 ounces respectively).
Modikwa PGM production increased by 116% to 68,600 ounces (platinum production increased by 118% to 27,000 ounces and palladium production increased 115% to 25,800 ounces respectively).
PURCHASES OF PGM CONCENTRATE FROM THIRD PARTIES
Purchase of PGM concentrate (POC) from third parties increased by 31% to 240,900 ounces (platinum POC increased by 22% to 116,800 ounces and palladium POC increased by 24% to 49,700 ounces). The increase was mainly due to the impact of Covid-19 on production in the prior period.
REFINED PGM PRODUCTION
Refined PGM production (from owned production, excluding tolling) increased by 233% to 1,353,700 ounces. Refined platinum production increased by 290% to 625,800 ounces and refined palladium production increased by 190% to 427,500 ounces, with the ratio of metal in the pipeline returning to more normal ratios.
The strong performance reflected the operational stability in the ACP, following the completion of the rebuild and recommissioning of the Phase A unit in November 2020. The ACP continued to perform ahead of plan and was able to smelt more tonnes from the Polokwane smelter.
The ACP Phase B rebuild is on schedule for completion in H2 2021, subject to any further Covid-19 impacts. The Phase B unit will only be switched over from the Phase A unit and recommissioned into production in Q1 2022, in line with scheduled maintenance.
Toll refined PGM production increased by 60% to 153,800 PGM ounces.
PGM production guidance (metal-in-concentrate) is tightened from 4.2-4.6 million PGM ounces, to between 4.2 – 4.4 million PGM ounces, due to lower third-party receipts and the continuing impact of rising Covid-19 infection rates on production.
Refined PGM production (excluding tolling) guidance has been tightened from 4.6–5.0 million PGM ounces, to between 4.8 – 5.0 million PGM ounces as a result of proven operational stability in the processing assets. However, refined production is subject to rising infection rates from Covid-19, as well as potential Eskom power disruptions in the second half of the year.