Anglo American Platinum reported on Thursday a fall of 25% in refined platinum group metal (PGM) output in 2022, due to the delayed Polokwane smelter rebuild, power outages, as well as lower mine production and grades.
The Johannesburg-listed Amplats said refined PGM production from its operations was 3.831,1 million ounces in 2022, down from 5.138,4 million ounces the previous year.
The miner said its refined PGM production guidance for 2023 was unchanged, between 3.6 million and 4 million ounces, subject to the impact of Eskom power cuts.
The miner said the rebuild of the Polokwane smelter was delayed in October 2022 due to the delivery of sub-standard materials for furnace construction, and was completed in December 2022.
South Africa’s state-owned power utility Eskom has been implementing extended electricity cuts due to frequent breakdowns at its ageing thermal plants, affecting key sectors of Africa’s most advanced economy, including mining.
Amplats said a combination of the delayed smelter rebuild and power cuts had resulted in a year-end build-up in work-in-progress inventory of about 100,000 PGM ounces.
(By Nelson Banya; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Clarence Fernandez)