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Amplats wants mechanised mines to boost output


Amplats wants mechanised mines to boost output

Published Date: 2021-02-23 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Amplats wants mechanised mines to boost output

The mining company reported record earnings for 2019 as it benefitted from a strong rise in prices for its metals.

Anglo American Platinum aims to increase annual production by 20% to 3.6-million ounces in 2030 as it modernises and mechanises its mines. It plans to do this while keeping costs down, creating more offsite jobs and cutting its carbon dioxide emissions.

Releasing its annual results yesterday, the group said climate change was rapidly accelerating global decarbonisation efforts, which would increase the long-term demand for its metals. Platinum group metals (PGMs) including platinum, palladium and rhodium are used in autocatalysts, which control vehicle exhaust fumes.

While the company aims to grow low-cost production, last year's output was impacted by Covid-19 lockdown and the temporary shutdowns of its Anglo Converter Plant (ACP) following an explosion early last year. Total PGM production decreased by 14% 3.8-million ounces, with a strong recovery in the second half, up 1% against the same period a year earlier. Attributable production from its own mines and joint ventures was about 3-million ounces.

Amplats said its strong financial performance was underpinned by a 71% increase in the PGM basket price to R33,320 per ounce sold. Revenue for the year rose 38% to R138 billion and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 39% to a record R41.6 billion. Headline earnings came in 63% higher at R30.3 billion, with a commensurate rise in headline earnings per share share to 115.54c. It declared a final dividend of R35.35 per share, or R9.4 billion, based on a payout ratio of 40% of headline earnings. That resulted in a 65% increase in its total dividend for the year to 45.58c per share.

Amplats' shares rose 1.5% to R1,779.05 yesterday.

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