Amplats loses 521 600 ounces to coronavirus

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JSE-LISTED Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) lost 521 600 ounces of platinum group metal (PGM) production in the quarter ended June 30 as a result of Covid-10 lockdowns in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

The company reported a 41 percent year-on-year decrease in platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium and iridium (5E) and gold production for the quarter, at 665 100 ounces, largely due to the impact of shutdowns implemented in South Africa and Zimbabwe in response to curbing the outbreak of covid-19. 

This led to a loss of 521 600 PGM ounces in the quarter.

“The shutdowns implemented by the Governments of the Republic of South Africa and Zimbabwe in response to curbing the outbreak of Covid-19 led to a loss of 521 600 PGM ounces in the quarter.

“Unki PGM production decreased 40 percent to 31 300 ounces (platinum production decreased by 40 percent to 13 900 ounces and palladium production decreased by 42 percent to 12 100 ounces,” Amplats said in a production update.

However, at the end of June, Unki Mine was operating at normal production levels of 100 percent and is expected to continue at this level to the end of the year.

Own managed mines PGM production decreased by 40 percent to 37 400 ounces largely due to the Covid-19 shutdowns and subsequent ramp-up leading to a loss of 286 500 ounces, however, impact was partially mitigated as open-pit and mechanised operations were able to safely ramp-up production faster.

Open-pit and mechanised operations were able to get to 98 percent levels of production by the end of June 2020.

PGM sales volumes, excluding the impact of 4E toll treated material and trading, decreased 55 percent to 548 000 ounces, with platinum sales volumes down 65 percent to 195 700 ounces and palladium sales volumes down 64 percent to 160 900 ounces due to the decrease in refined production, supplemented by a drawdown in refined inventory.

Amplats reports that its trading sales volumes increased by 80 percent year-on-year in the quarter under review, to 210 500 ounces, to ensure supply to customers.

The group maintains its full-year production and refined production guidance at between 3,1 million and 3,6 million ounces of PGMs, including platinum production of between 1,45 million and 1,65 million ounces and palladium production of between 1 million and 1,15 million ounces, as announced in the Q1 production report.

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