Refined PGM production decreases due to ACP plant rebuild

Refined Q4 2020 PGM production from Anglo American Platinum’s own material (excluding toll-treated material) decreased by 49% to 673,100 ounces against Q4 2019, as the Anglo Converter Plant (ACP) Phase B unit was closed earlier than planned on 5 November 2020 to ensure an ongoing safe operating environment, protect employees and protect the integrity of the plant.

The rebuild of the ACP Phase A unit was successfully completed ahead of schedule on 24 November 2020, with first converter matte dispatched to the Base Metal Refinery for further processing on 7 December 2020.

The ACP Phase A unit continues to perform well and in line with normal operating expectations. The ACP Phase B unit is now undergoing its expected full rebuild that is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2021 at an estimated capital cost of R550-R600 million.

The ACP stoppages during 2020 have resulted in an increase in work-in-progress inventory of ~1.0 million PGM ounces, which is expected to be released over the next 24 months.

Refined platinum production decreased by 53% to 296,400 ounces and refined palladium production decreased by 48% to 206,800 ounces.

Toll refined 4E production decreased 16% to 146,500 ounces due to lower inputs received and the impact of the ACP interruptions.

In its ‘Production Report for the fourth quarter ended 31 December 2020’ Anglo American reports the PGM sales volume from production (excluding trading activities) decreased by 47% to 754,300 ounces, driven by lower refined production, but partially offset by a drawdown of refined inventory. Platinum sales volume decreased by 53% to 311,200 ounces and palladium sales volumes decreased by 41% to 258,200 ounces.

PGM sales volume from trading increased 583% to 370,800 (platinum trading volumes increased to 176,300 ounces and palladium trading volumes increased to 172,800 ounces), to support customers following a reduction in refined metal production.

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