Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 24 October 2008 – Anglo Platinum – the world’s biggest producer of the metal – and Royal Bafokeng Holdings have approved the Styldrift Merensky project in the Western Bushveld.
Revealing this in its third quarter production update, the company said this this expansion project – at a capital cost of R10.3 billion in July 2009 money terms – would process 230 000 tonnes of Merensky reef per month via a new twin shaft system and a new concentrator. At steady state production in 2015, the project would boost production to 450 000 tpm and 400 000 ounces of refined platinum per annum.
The statement emphasised that, given current metal price levels and uncertainty in global markets, the costing and scheduling of all capital projects was currently under review, and management was evaluating a number of initiatives to further reduce operating costs and corporate overhead costs, optimise procurement savings, and improve operational productivity.
Looking at its performance in the three months ended 30 September 2008, Anglo Platinum equivalent refined platinum production from the mines managed by the company and its joint venture partners amounted to 685 000 ounces – an increase of 9% compared to the third quarter of 2007, and a rise of 12% above the previous quarter of 2008.
The company confirmed that while operational challenges continued, the major factors that had negatively affected production in the first half of 2008 had largely been resolved, and mining output was expected to continue at the improved rate experienced in the third quarter. Anglo Platinum remained on track for an output of 2.4 Moz for the year.