- July 17, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
Anglo American Platinum Limited’s local unit, Unki Mine’s PGM production for the second quarter to June 2020 fell 40 percent to 31 300 ounces on the back of disturbances caused by Covid-19 induced shutdown.
Platinum decreased by 40 percent to 13 900 ounces while palladium production went down by 42 percent to 12 100 ounces.
By end of the quarter under review, Unki Mine was, however, now operating at normal production levels of 100 percent.
Due to production challenges experienced in Zimbabwe and South Africa caused by Covid-19 induced lockdowns, Anglo’s overall quarter production went down significantly.
According to the group total PGM production at 665 100 ounces was 41 percent below prior period Q2 2019. Platinum production eased 41 percent to 307 500 ounces and palladium production went down 34 percent to 228 500 ounces.
“The impact of the shutdowns implemented by the Governments of the Republic of South Africa (RSA) and Zimbabwe in response to curbing the outbreak of Covid-19 led to a loss of 521 600 PGM ounces in the quarter.
“In collaboration with Government, labour unions and employees, stringent measures were put in place to protect employees, including social distancing, hygiene measures, screening and testing, and provision of PPE — resulting in no operation needing to close due to spread of Covid-19 among employees,” said Anglo.
Total PGM production from own managed mines decreased 40 percent to 379 400 ounces with platinum production falling by 43 percent to 166 100 ounces.
Palladium production went down 30 percent to 158 600 ounces. The decreases were largely due to the Covid-19 shutdowns which led to a loss of 286 500 PGM ounces in the quarter.
Said Anglo: “The impact of the Covid-19 shutdowns was partially mitigated due to high proportion of open-pit and mechanised operations, which could ramp-up at a faster pace than the conventional underground operations. Open-pit and mechanised operations were able to get to 98 percent levels of production by the end of June 2020.”
According to the group, joint venture PGM production — mined and purchase of concentrate-decreased by 55 percent to 101 600 ounces largely due to the Covid-19 shutdowns, and the result of declaring force majeure leading to Kroondal material being processed by third parties.
Refined PGM production excluding tolling went down by 67 percent to 407 000 ounces, primarily due to the temporary closure of the Anglo Converter Plant B unit for repairs which was offline for 54 days during the quarter under review.
PGM sales volumes — excluding tolling and 4E POC sales that are now tolled- also went down 55 percent to 548 000 ounces due to lower refined production, partially supplemented by a draw down in refined inventory.
Despite the declined recorded in the quarter under review, Anglo still retain its full-year production and refined production guidance from Q1 2020 with PGM production expected to be between 3,1 million and 3,6 million ounces, including platinum production of between 1,45 million and 1,65 million ounces. Palladium production is protected to be between 1 million and 1,15 million ounces.
Refined PGM production will also be between 3,1 million and 3,6 million ounces, including refined platinum production of between 1,45 million and 1,65 million ounces and refined palladium production of 1 million and 1,15 million ounces.
“We acknowledge that significant headwinds exist in the second half of the year, including completing the rebuild of the ACP Phase A, further Eskom power-outages, as well as the potential impact the Covid-19 pandemic could have on our performance.
‘‘Our priorities remain to ensure the safety of our employees and the integrity of our assets and caution that these headwinds could impact our ability to meet full year guidance,” said Anglo.