JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – A strong performance by its Mogalakwena mine has contributed to a 1% year-on-year increase in JSE-listed Anglo American Platinum’s (Amplats’) production to 571 900 oz for the quarter ended March 31.
Mogalakwena’s output rose 3% year-on-year to 111 900 oz, with strong plant recoveries and increased throughput.
Production at Amandelbult, however, fell by 12% year-on-year to 97 100 oz owing to unusually heavy rainfall, which resulted in flooded openpits and affected feed chutes to the concentrator plants, as well as industrial action which impacted production for two days.
Output at Unki rose 2% to 18 900 oz, as continued efforts in efficient mining height control reduced mining waste, leading to increased grade and higher production.
Improved crew efficiencies and mining ground closer to the access shafts resulted in a 10% increase in production at the Union mine, which is being sold to Siyanda Resources, to 37 700 oz.
Meanwhile, joint venture production was down marginally to 182 700 oz, primarily owing to a two-day illegal strike and lower grades impacting Kroondal, lower grades in the current mining area at Mototolo, and a fatality and Section 54 safety stoppage that impacted on production at Bokoni.
Third-party purchase of concentrate increased by 119 900 oz, largely owing to the inclusion of material from Rustenburg.
Refined platinum production increased by 121% year-on-year to 576 900 oz. Refined production in the first quarter of 2016 was negatively impacted on by a Section 54 safety stoppage at the Precious Metals Refinery.
Meanwhile, following the Waterval smelter run-out in the third quarter of last year, the Number 1 furnace had been successfully rebuilt in the fourth quarter. The Number 2 furnace, which underwent planned maintenance, has been successfully rebuilt and is ramping up to full capacity. The 65 000 oz backlog in processing pipeline material is expected to be made up during this year.
Sales volumes of 518 800 oz for the quarter were up 26% owing to the increase in refined platinum production.