Johannesburg, South Africa —MININGREVIEW.COM — 31 October 2008 – Lonmin plc – the world’s third-largest platinum producer – says its platinum output this financial year will be “broadly in line” with the preceding 12 months.
In a statement to the JSE News Service, the company said full-year platinum output from its concentrators had fallen 16% to 732 125 ounces in the year ended 30 September 2008. The company had cut its production forecast for the year to 725 000 ounces, after earlier forecasting 900 000 ounces.
Lonmin has reduced production targets repeatedly because of maintenance, plant accidents and a strike. The company plans to shut its No. 1 Furnace in South Africa from 1 November until early January for design changes.
Today’s statement said Lonmin was reviewing operations “with our emphasis being on achieving low cost production, rather than maximising volume.” Output was affected by safety stoppages, Eskom’s five-day power outage in January and high levels of absenteeism in the first half of the year, Lonmin said.
Fourth-quarter platinum production of 200 314 ounces was 3.5% less than the same period a year ago. Refined platinum output for the year was up 0.6 percent to 699 942 ounces, the company added.
Platinum prices have tumbled 43 percent this year as slowing world economic growth curbs demand for the metal.
Earlier this week, Credit Suisse Group AG wrote in a note to clients that mining companies might defer US$50 billion (R510 billion) worth of development projects for a year as credit tightens and commodity prices fall. And the world’s biggest platinum producer, Anglo Platinum Limited, is reviewing all of its projects.