The SA PGM operations delivered another consistently strong operating performance with 4E PGM production (including third party concentrate processed) increasing by 41% to 928,992 4Eoz year-on-year. Mined underground 4E PGM production increased by 43% year-on-year, to 817,369 4Eoz, with 4E PGM production from surface 34% higher at 76,796 4Eoz and third-party concentrate treated at the Marikana smelting and refining operations increasing by 29% to 34,827 4Eoz.
Costs were well controlled with AISC (including third party processing costs) declining by 4% to R18,447/4Eoz (US$1,268/4Eoz) and AISC (excluding third party processing costs) 10% lower to R16,921/4Eoz (US$1,163/4Eoz) compared with H1 2020. Record adjusted EBITDA from the SA PGM operations for H1 2021of R31,338 million (US$2,154 million) was 246% higher than for H1 2020.
Mined 2E PGM production from the US PGM operations of 298,301 2Eoz (H1 2020: 297,740 2Eoz) was unchanged year-on-year due to the extended safety related work stoppages and associated operational restrictions during June 2021, which reduced production by approximately 20,000 2Eoz.
However, production forecasts from SWE (Blitz Project) are currently exceeding plan and increasing output is expected to partially offset the negative production impact at SWW during H2 2021. AISC for the US PGM operations increased by 12% to US$973/2Eoz due to lower production and higher royalties and taxes. 3E PGM recycling was consistent, with 402,872 3Eoz fed, marginally higher than for H1 2020.
Adjusted EBITDA for the US PGM operations of US$487 million (R7,091 million) was 36% higher year-on-year, with adjusted EBITDA from mined 2E PGM production 32% higher to US$437 million (R6,358 million) and adjusted EBITDA from the recycling business of US$50 million (R733 million), 85% higher than for H1 2020.
This was primarily due to the higher PGM basket prices, with interest on recycle supplier advances adding a further US$15 million, providing a significant offset against the impact of the operational shortfall.
Production from the SA gold operations increased by 29% to 16,138 kg (518,848 oz), despite the loss of approximately 357 kg (11,478 oz) of production at the Kloof and Beatrix operations due to seismicity and safety stoppages. AISC of R791,171/kg (US$1,691/oz) declined by 1%, due to the carry-over of sustaining and ORD capital combined with the production shortfall.
Adjusted EBITDA from the SA gold operations for H1 2021 of R2,351 million (US$162 million) was 40% higher than for H1 2020.