IRS being able to fully refine the excess PGM inventory
Force majeure notices instituted on Impala Refining Services (IRS) customers from 26 March 2020 were uplifted in a phased approach in May and June 2020. Excess concentrate and matte inventory accumulated by customers (including Group operations) during the force majeure period are expected to be received in full by Q1 FY2021.
Smelters and refineries were identified as ‘essential services’ during the national lockdown in South Africa and the systematic ramp-up of operations and continued, albeit reduced, production of refined volumes has resulted in the Group being able to fully refine the previously identified excess in-process PGM inventory. As a result, refined and sales volumes will exceed concentrate production in FY2020.
Given production rates relative to plan in FY2020, a decision was made to bring forward the annual acid plant maintenance scheduled for July 2020.
This is expected to result in greater-than-usual alignment of processing and mining capacity in Q1 FY2021 but will have a small impact on the FY2020 year-end processing inventory.
Implats declared force majeure on its contractual deliveries of final metal to its customers when the national lockdown in South Africa was announced on 23 March 2020. This was uplifted on 22 June 2020.
Prior to this upliftment, discussions for customer deliveries were conducted monthly. To date, the overwhelming majority of Implats’ customers have elected to receive their metal rather than exercise their right under force majeure to cancel deliveries.
Logistical constraints have eased with the resumption of international flights, such that these no longer pose a risk to Implats’ ability to deliver metal.