HARARE – Unki Mine – Anglo American Platinum’s local unit – achieved a record production performance in the second quarter to June 30, 2019 with platinum group of metals (PMG) production increasing 12 percent to 52 500 ounces.
The mine subsequently recovered from the slowdown that was recorded in the first quarter when PGM production declined 5 percent to 43 300 ounces from comparable quarter in the prior year due to additional 2018 first quarter production mined from ore stockpiles.
In the second quarter under review, platinum production rose 11 percent to 23 100 ounces and palladium production increased by 14 percent to 20 900 ounces.
Anglo attributed the growth to improved underground mining efficiencies, improved concentrator throughput, higher mill run-time and recoveries.
At group level, Anglo’s total PGM production increased by 1 percent to 1 118 700 ounces. Platinum production grew 3 percent to 520 300 ounces while palladium production was 1 percent lower to 347 100 ounces, excluding Sibanye-Stillwater Rustenburg 4E material which transitioned to a tolling arrangement from 1 January 2019.
Anglo indicated operations were also affected by “unprotected industrial action at Mototolo, maintenance at Mogalakwena North Concentrator and production challenges at Modikwa and Mototolo.”
The group, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) expects to release its financials for the half year to June 30, 2019 next week on July 22 with earnings growth anticipated.
According to Anglo, earnings per share for the period are expected to jump 180 percent above the prior period.
Basic earnings for the period are likely to increase to a profit of between R7,055 billion and R7,485 billion representing an increase of between 224 percent and 244 percent compared to the comparative period figure of a R2,179 billion.
For the second quarter under review, total PGM production from own managed mines fell 4 percent to 633 600 ounces.
Both platinum and palladium decreased 5 percent to 290 500 ounces and 4 percent to 228 100 ounces respectively on the back of lower production from Mogalakwena and Mototolo, which were partly offset by increased production from Unki and Amandelbult.
Joint venture PGM production, excluding Mototolo, fell 4 percent to 228 200 ounces. Platinum and palladium slowed 1 percent to 104 400 ounces and 6 percent to 64 800 ounces in that order.
Purchase of PGM concentrate from third parties increased 22 percent to 256 900 ounces due increased volume from BRPM and Siyanda Resources.
Anglo also highlighted PGM sales volumes of 1 275 100 ounces were achieved in line with refined production, but down by 8 percent year-on-year due to 154 400 4E ounces returned through toll arrangements and not sold by Anglo American Platinum.
Platinum sales volumes decreased by 6 percent to 595 200 ounces and palladium sales volumes increased by 17 percent to 475 900 ounces due to the change in the concentrate mix processed in each period.
For the 2019 financial year, production is guided to be lower than 2018 levels on the back of the transition of Sibanye-Stillwater Rustenburg mine 4E material to a tolling arrangement.
“PGM production outlook for 2019 is maintained at between 4,2 million to 4,5 million ounces, including platinum production of between 2 million to 2,1 million ounces and palladium production guidance of between 1,3 million and 1,4 million ounces.
“As previously communicated, production guidance is down on 2018,”said Anglo.