Trucks leave an Anglo American Platinum processing plant near Rustenburg

 Johannesburg – Anglo American Platinum has maintained its full-year guidance of 2.35 – 2.40 million ounces.

In a statement issued on Monday, the listed miner, noted total platinum production (metal in concentrate) was up 1 percent to 571 900 ounces in the first quarter to the end of March.

The company says this is thanks to strong performances from Mogalakwena offsetting operational challenges at Amandelbult.

The increase in production is despite the Twickenham project being placed on care and maintenance in the second half of 2016, reducing unprofitable platinum production by 1 100 ounces.

With the sale of Rustenburg to Sibanye in November 2016, production from that operation is now treated as third party purchase of concentrate, resulting in own mine production decreasing by 26 percent, it explains.

Mogalakwena production increased by 3 percent to 111 900 ounces with strong plant recoveries and increased throughput.

However, Amandelbult production decreased by 12 percent to 97 100 ounces primarily due to unusually heavy rainfall resulting in flooded opencast pits and affected feed chutes to the concentrator plants, as well as minor industrial action which impacted production for two days, it says.

Unki production was up 2 percent to 18 900 ounces, as continued efforts in efficient mining height control have reduced mining waste, leading to increased grade and higher production. 

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Amplats adds Union increased production by 10 percent to 37 700 ounces due to improved crew efficiencies, and mining ground closer to the access shafts in line with the optimised mine plan. The sale of Union to Siyanda Resources was announced on February 15 and is expected to complete during 2017.

Joint venture production (mined and purchased) was down marginally to 182 700 ounces.

Sales volumes for the quarter of 518 800 ounces were up 26 percent due to the increase in refined platinum production, however was less than refined production of 576 900 ounces, due to rebuilding refined inventory, which had been drawn down in 2016 to supplement sales during the PMR stoppage, it notes.