Anglo American
Platinum’s Potgietersrus
platinum mine
Johannesburg, South Africa — 20 April 2012 – Anglo American plc “’ the world’s biggest platinum producer “’ says its output of the precious metal fell 24% in the first quarter of 2012 from a year earlier after it had to shut a plant for maintenance, but fewer safety stoppages did stem the drop.

Bloomberg News quotes a statement released here in which Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) “’ in which Anglo has a 79.9% stake “’ reports that refined platinum production fell to 402,800oz because of planned annual maintenance at a converting plant in Rustenburg, which was completed last month. Safety stops fell to 13 in the quarter from 21 a year earlier and 32 in the prior three months.

“Amplats delivered a decent operational first quarter,” Dominic O’Kane and Richard Knights, London-based analysts at Liberum Capital Limited, wrote in an e-mailed note. “Output was 35% lower than BMO Capital Markets Limited’s estimate of 621,000oz, analyst Edward Sterck said in a note.

Anglo American, which also reported a 17% increase in iron-ore production and a 21% advance in copper output for the quarter, is reviewing the platinum unit as it isn’t delivering the returns the company expects, Anglo CEO Cynthia Carroll said earlier this year.

Anglo American Platinum maintained its target of refining and selling 2.5 to 2.6Moz of the metal this year. It plans to stem cash-cost increases to between US$1,788 and US$1,855 per ounce produced, the company said.

Government-imposed safety stops increased at Anglo and other South African platinum mines in the fourth quarter of last year, also cutting output by Impala Platinum Holdings Limited and Lonmin plc. Production from the three account for more than two- thirds of global output of the metal.

Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.