HomeBase MetalsAnglo American ramps down South African operations in response to COVID-19

Anglo American ramps down South African operations in response to COVID-19

In line with South African Government requirements, in relation to a 21-day nationwide lockdown to help curb the spread of COVID-19, Anglo American is implementing all appropriate measures across its operations, with a focus on de-densification of the workforce, rigorous health screening, and isolation where needed.

The company has consulted with the government authorities and industry bodies in South Africa to determine and agree the appropriate measures to be taken across its operational and other business activities.

Such measures are to protect people’s safety and health, the continuing provision of essential services to local communities, the security and integrity of the assets, the supply of essential raw materials to customers, and the ability to return operations to normal levels of activity as swiftly as possible once the lockdown restrictions are eased, in support of the country’s broader economic interests.

The status of operations is expected to be as follows during the lockdown period in South Africa:

Kumba Iron Ore’s Sishen and Kolomela mines continue to operate with a c.50% level of workforce.

READ MORE: Natascha Viljoen to succeed Griffith as Amplats CEO

At Anglo American Platinum, the Mogalakwena mine and the mechanised Mototolo mine continue to operate with a reduced workforce and production, subject to further planning, as will the associated concentrator and smelter facilities.

Repair of the Anglo Converter Plant (ACP) Phase B unit, will continue as planned to ensure the integrity of the assets, and prepare for a safe operational ramp-up. All required parts and equipment for the Phase B repair are on site and the estimated time for repair work remains 80 days, ending around 25 May 2020.

READ MORE: Amplats declares force majeure as it repairs converter plant

The Amandelbult, Modikwa (JV) and Kroondal (JV) underground mines, as well as the Mortimer and Waterfall smelters, are being placed onto care and maintenance.

Meanwhile at De Beers, the Venetia mine will operate with a c.75% reduced workforce.

Operations will continue with a c.50-70% reduced workforce and production at Anglo American’s Thermal Coal operations, while Isibonelo, which supplies Sasol’s fuel production facility, operates with a c.20% reduced workforce.

The rail and port logistics infrastructure to support the export of iron ore and coal is expected to continue to service the operations during this period, while supply chain planning is in place and any impact of the 21-day lockdown is being monitored and addressed where feasible.

Anglo American will also continue to provide a number of essential services, including security; mine maintenance; tailings facility safety management; water treatment; community water supply; increased capacity in Anglo American’s hospitals; accommodation provision; health, safety and emergency response; and critical head office services.

“In South Africa, our operations play a vital role in many of our host communities, including in terms of jobs and the provision of a number of essential community services, including access to water, energy and accommodation. We are wholly committed to supporting the country’s effort to combat COVID-19, including continuity of such services, and will continue to work with government and across the industry to provide all possible support,” says Anglo American chief executive Mark Cutifani.