Anglo Platinum lowers production forecasts due to leaky processing plant

  • The Anglo Converter Plant  Phase B has been shut down several times this years due to water leaks.
  • The company now next year undertake a process to fully rebuild the unit and no force majeure has been declared.
  • Work on Phase A of the processor which is also being repaired is expected to finish before the end of the year.

Anglo American Platinum lowered its production forecasts after water leaks at one of its processing plant led to its closure. It has been broken down several times this year. The miner said the unit requires extensive work and will be fully rebuilt next year.

The closure of the unit has led it to lower its refined platinum group metals production and sales guidance for 2020 to approximately 2.5 million ounces from between 3.1 to 3.3 million ounces, the miner said in a statement on Thursday.

The shutter of Anglo Converter Plant (ACP) Phase B unit would result in temporary build up in work-in progress inventory, with Phase A of the processor still undergoing work.

"Whilst this early closure will result in a temporary build up in work-in-progress inventory, we continue to make good progress with the rebuild of the main ACP Phase A unit, which we expect to complete towards the end of this year,"  said CEO Natascha Viljoen.

Initial guidance had indicated that repairs on Phase A unit were expected to cost between R500 and R600 million.

Viljoen who took over as CEO in April has been seized with the operational problem of the Rustenburg processor which treats concentrate that comes from nearby producers. In March, Anglo American Platinum declared a force majeure on supply contracts after its the two converter plants broke in short intervals.

Phase B was shut in June due to a similar water leak issue in its  high-pressure cooling section, the unit had return to production on 12 May and the company at the time had indicated that repairs to the Phase B unit were expected to cost R150 million.


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