The world’s largest platinum producer, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has recorded a strong 2018 first half performance which in part was pushed by its Zimbabwe operation Unki mine.
Unki’s production increased by 9 percent while in turn Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) volumes grew by 4 percent over the same period last year.
“Unki mine in Zimbabwe produced a record 92,600 PGM ounces, an increase of 9 percent. The Unki smelter, a project in execution, is expected to be completed in Q3 2018,” said Amplats.
Prior to the current period, Unki mine recorded 38 400 ounces production volumes in H1 2017 which was up from 36 400 ounces recorded in H1 2016, a growth of 5 percent.
Growth in production at the mine was driven by higher productivity and improved mining reef cut, which reduced waste mining, resulting in higher-grade ore being delivered to the concentrator.
Commenting on the results, Anglo American Platinum CEO Chris Griffith attributed the overall performance to the restructuring and reposition of the portfolio so as to meet the group’s commitment to ensuring safe production and delivering value.
“Anglo American Platinum’s strategy to restructure and reposition the portfolio is essentially complete and has simplified and improved the business. The portfolio is now positioned with 70 percent of production in the first half of the cost curve, outperforming input cost inflation, improved operating free cash flows and delivering a return on capital employed of 22.4 percent,” he said.
“Our focus remains on driving the value and earnings of the business by taking the performance of the operations to world best practice, investing in growth optionality across the portfolio, and developing the market for PGMs. We will continue to seek to deliver these strategic priorities in a safe, values driven and socially responsible way.”
Operations at Mogalakwena registered the highest increase in production at 19 percent in H1 2018, contributing R2.1 billion in economic free cash flow, up from R812 million in H1 2017.
“The turnaround plan at Amandelbult continues, showing early benefits: total PGM production at Amandelbult increased by 9% to 432,600 PGM ounces,” said Amplats.
Unki Mines (Private) Limited operates as a subsidiary of Amplats and its operations are situated on the Great Dyke of Zimbabwe, approximately 60 kilometers south-east of Gweru.
– Equity Axis News