Platinum blots Anglo copy book

[] – ANGLO American Platinum (Amplats) was the stand out feature of parent company, Anglo American’s, interim production report today posting a 40% decline in production year-on-year.

In a set of results that was otherwise solid, the platinum subsidiary said it produced 424,000 less ounces in the six months from January to June and a further 16,000 oz were lost to date as it ramped up production.

This followed a five-and-a-half month strike by members of the Association of Mineworkers & Construction Union (AMCU) that eventually resulted in a settlement in which aggregate wages would increase between 11% and 12% over three years.

Production from Amplats’ other mines – notably Mogalakwena – as well as refining from stockpiles lessened the impact on refined platinum production, however, which fell 28% to 421,000 oz.

Otherwise, Anglo American had a strong start to 2014 with only export thermal coal production falling. It was 5% weaker year-on-year, equating to some 400,000 tonnes owing to lower production from Drayton in Australia. Production from the South African assets increased due to improved operational performance, Anglo said.

Kumba Iron Ore production increased by 2% to 11.5 million tonnes following a solid
performance at both Sishen and Kolomela, Anglo said while copper output increased 6% to 194,400 tonnes.

Diamond production increased by 7% to 8.5 million carats, largely due to higher output at Venetia following the recovery from the pit flooding in 2013, the group said.

Nickel production increased by 25% to 10,600 tonnes driven by continued improved operational stability at Barro Alto, prior to the planned rebuild of the furnaces commencing in the second half of the year, Anglo said.