JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – In the three months to December 31, Anglo American Platinum's (Amplats') production of refined platinum rose by 30% to 745 000 oz.
The company said in a fourth-quarter (Q4) production report on Thursday that the return to normal after industrial action had also lifted refined palladium and rhodium output.
It added that the mix of metals had returned to normal compositions as all mines were producing at normal rates.
Base metal tonnes rose 14% on post-strike ramp-up as well as the better operational performance of the Base Metal Refinery (BMR).
Q4 saw no third-party tolling as all nickel and copper matte stockpiles accumulated during the BMR ramp-up have been depleted.
Expressed as metal in concentrate, group platinum production in Q4 largely marked time year-on-year at 598 000 oz, with operational improvements at own operations offset by a reduction in purchase of concentrate ounces from third parties.
Production at the Amandelbult mine was up 13% on better mining efficiencies, increased concentrator recoveries and the start-up of opencast mining, rising from 106 000 oz to 121 000 oz.
Output from Unki in Zimbabwe rose by 4 000 oz to 19 000 oz, while Mogalakwena in South Africa’s Limpopo province chipped in a flat 98 000 oz.
Production from the Rustenburg mine and its Western Limb Tailings Retreatment Plant dipped by 4 000 oz to 118 000 oz and output from the Union mine fell by 5 000 oz to 38 000 oz on the Q4 closure of the decline section.
Independently managed production, excluding third-party purchases of concentrate, was broadly unchanged at 199 000 oz.