Anglo Platinum meets sales contracts even as strike cuts output

Anglo American Platinum, the world’s largest producer of the metal, said it met all deliveries in the second quarter even as a strike cut output by 40%.

Amplats, as the Anglo American unit is known, drew on stockpiles to offset the effect of a five-month stoppage by the largest union at its South African operations, it said in a statement on Thursday. Mined output decreased to 358 000 equivalent platinum ounces for the three months ended June 30, while production at refineries fell 28% to 421 000 ounces. Anglo’s output of iron ore, copper, diamonds and nickel rose, the London-based company said separately.

“Sales to both contractual and non-contractual customers continued at normal levels, supplemented by refined platinum stock,” Amplats said.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union won increases in basic pay of as much as 20%, ending the stoppage at Amplats, Impala Platinum and Lonmin, the world’s three largest producers, on June 24. Anglo is reviewing its operations worldwide, including the strike-hit assets in South Africa, to increase earnings after chief executive Mark Cutifani took over last year amid cost overruns and delays in developing projects.

Cutifani set a goal of improving Anglo’s return on capital employed to at least 15% by 2016 from 8% last year and plans to sell assets that fail to achieve the target.

Lost output
Anglo forfeited 239 000 ounces of platinum production in the second quarter, which brought the total lost to 424 000 ounces for the first half. It missed out on a further 16 000 ounces of output as operations at the mines in Rustenburg, about 120 kilometers northwest of Johannesburg, came back on line. The strike didn’t affect the Unki mine in Zimbabwe and the open-pit Mogalakwena operations, where output rose 23% to 96 000 ounces, it said.

Amplats last week said first-half profit fell as much as 96% because of the strike.

Anglo’s iron-ore volumes were 11.5-million metric tonnes, compared with 11.3-million tonnes a year earlier, it said. Copper rose 6% to 194 400 tonnes. Production of export metallurgical coal, used in steelmaking, jumped 10% in the second quarter to 4.8-million tonnes. Output of export thermal coal declined 5% to 8.1-million tonnes because of lower production from Drayton in Australia.

Anglo also mines diamonds in southern Africa and Canada. Production at De Beers, the gem producer it owns, gained 7% in the second quarter to 8.5-million carats after a recovery from last year’s pit flooding at its Venetia mine in South Africa.

Nickel production surged 25% to 10 600 tonnes, mainly because of “operational stability” at the Barro Alto mine in Brazil, Anglo said. Production at Barro Alto climbed 41% to 8 600 tonnes.– Bloomberg

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Marikana murder trial resumes

The eight-year battle for justice played out its next round in the Mahikeng high court this week

Unethical businesses will face people’s protest

Companies must behave like model democratic citizens if they are to earn and retain society’s social licence to operate

‘More needed’ for miners to work again

Amcu and experts agree that mineworkers and their communities face a unique risk without a detailed response to Covid-19 from the sector

Department warns mines to comply

Estimates hint that the scaling down of work in response to Covid-19 will result in a sharp drop in production in April and by 4.5% for the year

Amcu deputy president gets the axe

Meanwhile the union’s registration is once again in jeopardy, this time over the union’s finances and the legitimacy of its leadership

Blyvooruitzicht: A glimmer of hope between the sewage, rats and fear

‘Thrown away like rubbish’ — Residents of what was once a rich mining town have survived the seven years since the mine closed

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

Eastern Cape universities concerned by rising Covid cases

Fort Hare says 26 more students have tested positive while Walter Sisulu University says some of its students have been admitted to hospital.

SAA in talks to recoup R350-million in blocked funds...

The cash-strapped national carrier is in the process of recouping its blocked funds from Zimbabwe, which could go towards financing the airline’s business rescue plan

NSFAS’s woes do not help its mandate

Nehawu wants the scheme’s administrator, Randall Carolissen, to be removed

Unions cry foul over SABC dismissal costs and retrenchments

Broadcaster bodies say claims that a recent skills audit is unrelated to retrenchments are ‘irrational’

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday