Total PGM production for Anglo American Platinum (expressed as 5E+Au metal in concentrate) of 1 220 000 oz, decreased 4% due to the closure of unprofitable ounces from Bokoni – which was placed on care and maintenance, as well as the temporary closure of the Mototolo concentrator.
Total platinum production was down 4% to 587 000 oz and total palladium production was down 5% to 374 900 oz.
PGM production from own-managed mines
Own-mined PGM production increased 4% to 624 200 oz due to a very strong performance from Mogalakwena. Platinum production was up 3% to 291 800 oz, and palladium up 5% to 213 700 oz.
Mogalakwena PGM production increased by 15% to 282 200 oz as a result of an increase in built-up head grade, in-line with the mine plan, and optimization to the North Concentrator Plant leading to an increase in concentrator throughput.
Platinum production was up 18% to 121 700 oz, and palladium up 13% to 127 800 oz.
Amandelbult PGM production decreased by 2% to 231 200 oz primarily due to a delay in ore reserve development at Dishaba and Section 54 related stoppages at Dishaba following the fatal incident in October 2017.
Platinum production was down 4% to 116 600 oz, and palladium was down 1% to 54 600 oz.
Unki PGM production decreased 16% to 36 600 oz due to planned maintenance to the mill feed silo at the concentrator, which was completed in December 2017. The ore stockpile ahead of the concentrator will be processed in 2018.
Platinum production was down 18% to 16 400 ounces and palladium was down 14% to 14 200 oz.
Union PGM production decreased by 2% to 74 200 oz due to the fatal incident and associated safety stoppages, as well as difficult ground conditions.
Platinum production was down 3% to 37 100 oz and palladium was down 2% to 17 100 oz. The sale of Union mine to Siyanda Resources was announced on 15 February 2017 and is expected to complete in early 2018.
PGM production from joint ventures
Total joint venture PGM production was flat at 265 800 oz. Production was down primarily due to the temporary suspension of the Mototolo concentrator to carry out remedial work on the Helena Tailings Storage Facility to bring it back to required safety standards.
This work was completed ahead of schedule in early December 2017 and has now ramped up to normal production.
This resulted in a decrease in PGM production from Mototolo of 49% to 29,400 oz. As part of a remedial plan to toll treat Mototolo concentrate, Bokoni concentrator treated 11 900 and Modikwa concentrator purchased mined tons and treated 9 700 PGM oz.
Strong performances from Modikwa and Kroondal offset the decline from Mototolo. Modikwa PGM production increased 25% to 80 000 oz due to improved stoping efficiency and plant recovery as well as additional ore purchased from Mototolo (platinum production up 28% to 31 700 oz, palladium up 21% to 29 300 oz).
Kroondal PGM production rose 9% to 156 400 oz due to increased underground productivity (platinum and palladium up 9% to 74 500 oz and 39 400 oz respectively).
Purchases of PGM concentrate from associates
Purchase of PGM concentrate from associates declined 27% due to the closure of unprofitable ounces from Bokoni which was placed on care and maintenance in Q3 2017, (platinum down 21% to 54 800 oz, palladium down 37% to 22 100 oz).
PGM production from BRPM increased by 8% to 94 100 oz due to the ramp up of the Styldrift project, in line with expectations, (platinum production up 9% to 54 900 oz and palladium production up 6% to 22 300 oz).
Purchases of PGM concentrate from third parties
Purchase of PGM concentrate from third parties increased 21% to 236 300 oz.
However, there were lower purchases from other third parties (ex-Sibanye), including lower concentrate purchased from Maseve as the mine was placed on care and maintenance in Q4 2017 removing loss making production.
Adjusting for Rustenburg mined production for October 2016 (pre-sale), the overall net movement from third parties reduced 16% year-on-year.
Refined production and sales volumes
Refined PGM production increased 10% to 1 455 600 oz due to the lower refined volumes in Q4 2016 following the Waterval Smelter run-out in that period.
Refined platinum production increased by 14% to 722 200 oz, and refined palladium production increased by 24% to 491 400 oz due to significantly higher production from Mogalakwena.
PGM sales volumes increased 19% to 1 511 900 oz in line with increased refined production and the sell down of refined stock to normalized levels. Platinum sales increased 19% to 721 700 oz and palladium sales increased 32% to 473 500 oz.
Feature image credit: Wikimedia