Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) lowered its 2022 refined production guidance to 3.7 – 3.9 million ounces (oz) of platinum group metal ounces (PGM) from 4.0 – 4.4 million PGM oz. The company said its quality assurance processes detected the delivery of sub-standard materials for the Polokwane smelter rebuild. Delivery of replacement materials will result in a 2-month delay for project completion. As a result, there will be a build-up in work-in-progress inventory in 2022 and a short-term timing impact to refined PGM production.

“As we undergo our first full rebuild of the Polokwane smelter in 12 years, our quality assurance processes identified a defective consignment of materials required to complete the rebuild,” Amplats CEO Natascha Viljoen said. “We remain committed to ensuring the structural integrity of our Polokwane smelter, with high standards embedded into the rebuild to ensure asset integrity and the longevity of this operation. We will not compromise on safety or quality and therefore the defective materials will not be used, and a new consignment of materials is expected to be delivered by the end of October. This has resulted in a 2-month delay in recommissioning the Polokwane Smelter. Work has commenced to find solutions to mitigate the impact on refined production this year.”

Amplats said its metal-in-concentrate guidance would not be affected and it remains at between 3.9 – 4.3 million PGM oz and unit cost guidance remains at between R14,000 – R15,000 ($801 – $859) per PGM oz. All guidance is subject to no disruptions due to load-shedding. The company will update its 2023 refined production guidance when more information is available.