Platinum - Production increased by 4% to 567,000 ounces driven primarily by higher production from Amandelbult, Mogalakwena and Unki, partially offset by lower production at Rustenburg. Amandelbult production increased by 33% to 111,000 ounces due to improved mining efficiencies and increased concentrator recoveries.
Mogalakwena production increased by 7% to 109,000 ounces due to higher grade and improved concentrator throughput. Production from Unki increased by 14% to 19,000 ounces due to improved running time of the concentrators and increased head grade. In total, production from retained own-mine operations increased by 18% vs. Q1 2015.
Rustenburg (including Western Limb Tailings Retreatment) production decreased by 15,000 ounces to 106,000 ounces due to difficult ground conditions and lower grade. Independently managed production (mined and purchased), excluding third party purchase of concentrate, increased by 6% to 185,000 ounces driven by Kroondal, BRPM and Mototolo.
The refined platinum production for the quarter was materially impacted by a planned stocktake at the Precious Metal Refinery (PMR) and a Section 54 safety stoppage which also closed the PMR for 12 days and materially impacted production for a subsequent 37 days. The PMR was back to steady state operation from 6 April 2016. As a result refined platinum production decreased by 52% to 261,000 ounces with similar decreases for palladium and rhodium.
Platinum sales volumes decreased by 21%, reflecting the stoppages at the PMR in the quarter, partly mitigated by inventory draw-downs. Mark Cutifani, Anglo American Chief Executive, said "The Q1 2016 operating results are in line with the equivalent period of 2015 on a copper equivalent basis (8) and reflect the major restructuring programme under way and our ongoing efficiency and cost reduction strategy.”
He adds: “They also demonstrate the market discipline we continue to show in our key markets, particularly diamonds and platinum, and are consistent with our restructuring plans as we focus on lower cost and higher margin assets. We are encouraged that the actions we have taken in diamonds are continuing to have a positive effect, while operational productivity continues on an upward trajectory. As a consequence of our solid progress, our production guidance for 2016 remains unchanged."