Mining company Amplats said its total platinum group metals (PGM) production fell by six percent to 998,900 ounces in the first quarter of 2019. Supplied

JOHANNESBURG  - Mining company Amplats said on Thursday its total platinum group metals (PGM) production fell by six percent to 998,900 ounces in the first quarter of 2019, due in part to disruptions to power supply from state-owned utility Eskom.

It its latest quarterly update, Anglo American Platinum said it remained committed to the elimination of fatalities and reported zero fatalities for the first three months of the year.

Platinum output was down five percent to 471,900 ounces while palladium dropped six percent to 326,600 ounces.

"Production was also lower in the quarter due to the one-off benefit of additional ore stockpile which increased production at Mototolo and Unki in Q1 2018, as well as Eskom power disruptions and operational challenges across the portfolio in the quarter," the company said.

Total PGM production from own managed mines increased four percent to 601,000 ounces due to the inclusion of Mototolo production as own-mine production.

Mogalakwena PGM production however fell six percent to 307,200 ounces largely due to Eskom power disruptions, as well as lower concentrator recoveries, partly offset by an increase in grade.

Production at Unki in Zimbabwe decreased by five percent, largely because of additional first quarter 2018 production mined from ore stockpiles. Normalising for this impact, production at Unki was flat.

Amplats said PGM output, excluding tolling material from Sibanye-Stillwater was seen at 4.2 - 4.5 million ounces for 2019, including platinum production of between 2.0 - 2.1 million ounces and palladium production guidance of between 1.3 – 1.4 million ounces.

"Production guidance is down on 2018 due to the transition of Sibanye-Stillwater material to a tolling arrangement in place of its concentrate previously purchased by Anglo American Platinum," it said.

- African News Agency (ANA)