AngloPlat output jumps, warns on rand

[] — Anglo Platinum reported on Thursday an 11% rise in third-quarter production, but warned the stronger rand could have a negative impact on earnings.

Angloplat, the world’s biggest platinum producer, said refined platinum production totalled 697 000 ounces during the July-September quarter, compared with 629 000 ounces in the same period a year earlier.

Angloplat, a unit of global miner Anglo American, said it was helped by increased labour productivity at its mines.

Platinum miners were hit hard by the global economic crisis, which eroded demand for both jewellery and automobiles. Platinum is used in the catalytic converters that cut pollutants from car exhausts.

However, demand for the metal has gradually returned, helped by an uptick in vehicle sales and jewellery.

Angloplat saw other troubles ahead.

“If the rand continues to strengthen for a sustained period of time, Anglo Platinum’s revenue generation and cash generation ability will be negatively impacted,” it said in a statement.

The rand is up about 6% this year and is hovering at its highest level in nearly three years.

South African miners are paid in dollars while their costs are denominated in rand.

Shares of Angloplat are down nearly 10% so far this year, compared with a 7% rise in top-40 index.