Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), the largest platinum producer in the world, is planning to sell its Union, Rustenburg, Pandora mines in South Africa.
“Both management time and capital are finite,” said Chris Griffith, CEO of Anglo American Platinum. “The decision has been made to possibly exit certain assets that will be better placed in the hands of a new owner.”
Griffith said it will exit its Union and Rustenburg mines in South Africa and its Pandora joint venture, but is still assessing its Bokoni operation. Nevertheless, the company plans to retain its smelting and refining operations in both Union and Rustenburg.
The news to exit some of its platinum mines comes after the announcement that Amplats’ profit in the first half of the year plunged, after it lost more than a third of annual production due to a five-month-long wage strike in South Africa, although Griffith insisted that “this is not a fire sale.”
Despite the company’s number of high quality assets, both management time and capital are limited, and “therefore the decision has been made to reposition the portfolio to focus on our assets that can deliver higher margins, lower costs and improved return on capital,” Griffiths said.
“The intention to exit Union mine and concentrators has already been announced, and it has now been concluded that Rustenburg and our Pandora JV asset will be better placed in the hands of new owners who would be able to provide the focus and capital for the operations to have a successful future.
“The company therefore plans to divest these assets in the most appropriate manner, and prioritise its capital spend and focus on Mogalakwena, Unki, Twickenham, Amandelbult and the JV assets – Mototolo, Modikwa, Kroondal and BRPM. We are assessing our Bokoni JV asset and will make a further announcement on this in due course
“The delivery of our strategy will allow us to focus capital efficiently on the repositioned portfolio, achieving a more profitable, sustainable company for the future. We will continue to work closely with all key stakeholders to ensure optimal outcomes for the assets, employees and the South African platinum industry as a whole.”
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