Amplats lowers guidance after another water leak

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Amplats lowers guidance after another water leak

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Published Date: 2020-11-06 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Amplats lowers guidance after another water leak

The platinum group metals producer has closed its ACP Phase B unit for a full rebuild due to continuing problems.

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has cut its production and sales guidance for the year after detecting another leak at one of its converter units in Rustenburg.

The platinum groups metals producer now expects to produce about 2.5 million PGM ounces for the year to end-December, down from the 3.1-3.3 million ounces previously forecast.

Amplats said it took the preemptive decision to close the Anglo Converter Plant Phase B (ACP B) unit following a series of water leaks to ensure a safe operating environment and protect the integrity of the plant and surrounding processing assets. In June, it also took the unit offline for repair work after closing it in February when it also detected water in the furnace. At the time, an explosion had taken its ACP Phase A converter out of commission, forcing it to declare force majeure.

Following a comprehensive assessment, and with further water leaks discovered, Amplats said the unit now required more extensive repair work and had been closed for a full rebuild next year.

The company said by the end of October it had refined 2.4 million PGM ounces. With production continuing at about 94% of normal levels, the closure of the unit would result in an increase in work-in-progress inventory that would be released once ACP was operational again. The Phase A unit remained on track for commissioning before the end of the year, ahead of the original schedule of the second quarter of next year.

Amplats said it had contingency plans in place and would engage with customers to minimise any disruptions to its contractual obligations.

Its shares closed 0.9% down at R1,134.90 yesterday.





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