Mogalakwena mine 'carries' Anglo Platinum as Rustenburg operations lose money
23 July 2013
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) said
its Mogalakwena opencast mine on the northern
limb of the Bushveld Complex is supporting the company
while other plants remain unprofitable.
"It's mining well and it's producing a lot of money," chief
executive officer Chris Griffith told Mining Weekly.
A relatively small amount of additional capital expenditure
could release another 100,000 platinum group metal ounces
from Mogalakwena's existing concentrator and base-metal refining
capacity, the news provider said.
In contrast, the company lost one billion rand from its
Rustenburg platinum mine in the six months to June 30th 2013.
Amplats is aiming to restructure Rustenburg into three operating
entities, removing 250,000 oz/y of high-cost production. It plans
to mothball the Khuseleka 1 and 2 shafts and Khomanani 1 and 2
The problem for Amplats is that too much uneconomic upper-group
two (UG2) ore is mined and costs are too high at the Rustenburg
mine and the Union mine, which lost R350-million in first half.
"We will see some extra cash come through in the second half of
the year, but that still doesn't make the problem of Rustenburg and
Union go away," Griffith said in a video interview with Mining
Amplats plans to divest itself of the two Union mines, which are
being consolidated into a single entity prior to sale.
"The process has already started and we have a sale team
commissioned. In the next couple of weeks we'll be able to take
that process to the mine," added Griffith.
On the plus side, two Amplats joint venture mines, Kroondal and
Bokoni, delivered very strong results for the first half of the
Production at Kroondal was up 20% and Bokoni recorded its best
second-quarter performance in five years, increasing production by
Amplats plans to invest R6 billion to R7 billion capital in the
next three years, partly on keeping existing mine open and partly
on capital expenditure at its Twickenham project on the eastern
limb of the Bushveld Complex, at Unki in Zimbabwe and at
"But what we need to do is to spend that money very wisely and,
particularly at Rustenburg, we're not spending as much capital on
the UG2 projects and the decline shafts," said Griffith.
"We need to be able to invest through the cycle so that when the
cycle turns again, we are well placed to continue our
His comments came after Amplats revised its
refined platinum production target for 2013 to 2.3
million ounces, up from the previously announced target of between
2.2 and 2.3 million ounces.
Refined platinum production in the first half of the year was
1.2 million ounces, in line with the same period last year, the
company said in its half-yearly results.
Refined platinum sales for the period ended June 30th 2013
increased by 11%, to 1,074,155 oz.
Billion-rand cash burn at Amplats' loss-making Rustenburg mine
Anglo Platinum lifts production target (22/07/13)