- Solid safety performance with zero work-related fatalities reported.
- Refined PGM production increased by 36% compared to the previous year.
- Guided forecasts for 2024 indicate a focus on cost management and value creation.
Capetown - The fourth quarter of 2023 was a turbulent one for the platinum group metals (pgm) market, as geopolitical tensions and supply disruptions affected the prices and availability of these precious metals. Anglo American Platinum has released its production report for the fourth quarter ended 31 December 2023.
In terms of safety, Anglo American Platinum achieved a solid performance with no work-related fatalities reported at its own-managed operations and Joint Operations. The Total Recordable Case Frequency Rate (TRCFR) improved by 16% to 1.88 per million hours.
In PGMs production, the company experienced a 6% decrease in total production compared to the same period in 2022. This was mainly due to lower production from own-managed mines and Joint Operations. Own-managed mines saw a 3% decrease, primarily caused by planned infrastructure closures and poor ground conditions at Amandelbult. However, higher production from Unki and Mogalakwena partially offset this decline.
Joint Operations' PGM production, including mined and purchased concentrate, decreased by 47% to 104,400 ounces. This decline was a result of the disposal of Anglo American Platinum's 50% interest in Kroondal, which led to Kroondal production being reported as third-party purchase of concentrate (POC) going forward. The company also increased its purchase of PGM concentrate from third parties by 21%, primarily due to the inclusion of Kroondal production.
On the refined PGMs production front, the company saw a 36% increase to 1,191,100 ounces compared to the same quarter in 2022. This growth was attributed to the delay in recommissioning the Polokwane smelter. In terms of sales volumes, PGMs sales from production increased by 32% to 1,166,200 ounces, in line with the higher refined production.
Looking ahead, Anglo American Platinum provided guidance for 2024, forecasting metal-in-concentrate PGM production and refined production between 3.3-3.7 million ounces. The company also projected cash operating unit costs between R16,500-R17,500 per PGM ounce. These estimates reflect the company's focus on delivering production with lower costs and capital requirements while maintaining value over volume capital allocation discipline.
Craig Miller, CEO of Anglo American Platinum, expressed satisfaction with the company's safe and stable operating performance in the last quarter. He emphasized the company's commitment to improving its competitive position while ensuring long-term sustainability. Miller highlighted the strategic measures being taken to capitalize on the company's industry-leading portfolio and deliver value to stakeholders.
In summary, despite a decrease in PGMs production, Anglo American Platinum demonstrated a strong commitment to safety and achieved significant growth in refined production. With a focus on operational resilience, cost management, and long-term value creation, the company remains well-positioned to navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities in the mining industry.
-Equity Axis News