Thembelani Mine, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 13 April 2010 – Anglo Platinum “’ the world’s No. 1 producer of the precious metal “’ is expecting improved demand this year, and is considering a substantial increase in production to meet greater requirements.
Revealing this to the media during a visit to the mine, chief executive Neville Nicolau said the company “’ which is majority-owned by mining giant Anglo American plc “’ might produce an additional 200 000 ounces this year than its forecast of 2.5 million ounces. “It was too early to confirm the extra output,” he added.
Angloplat’s refined platinum ounces rose 3% to 2.452 million ounces in 2009, in line with the group’s target.
“We think the market is recovering better, and the margins will be pretty good. The basket price of platinum is well over US$1 700, which puts us in a good position,” said Nicolau.
Angloplat supplies close to half of the world’s platinum, mostly used in making catalytic converters to cut pollutants from motor vehicle exhausts and in jewellery.
Nicolau said the company was on track to keep costs flat this year, despite rising power and wage costs. “We think we have the capacity to keep our costs flat for the next few years to come,” he said, but added that the strong rand would continue to pressure the business.
“What affects our business is the rand basket price. The long term sustainable platinum price can change because of the rand,” he said.
A major restructuring of Angloplat’s mining operations, coupled with the operational efficiencies such as cutbacks in staff, have helped the company reduce the unit cost of production.