Anglo American Platinum (JSE:AMS) and joint venture partner Atlatsa Resources (TSX:ATL) placed the Bokoni mine in South Africa on care and maintenance earlier this year as the platinum price remained below $1,000 per ounce.
“In platinum, we have taken necessary steps to remove unprofitable ounces from production as we focus on value over volume,” said Company Chief Executive Mark Cutifani.
As of 2pm PDT on October 24; the platinum price was $925.50 per ounce compared to palladium, which was at $970 per ounce. Palladium is primarily used in gasoline-powered vehicle autocatalysts, while platinum is used in autocatalysts for diesel-powered vehicles. There has been a backlash against diesel-powered vehicles in Europe since the Volkswagen (ETR:VOW3) emissions scandal in 2015 and diesel-powered vehicles have been losing market share.
Anglo American said its platinum production guidance has been lowered to 2.30 to 2.35 million ounces down from its previous guidance of 2.35 to 2.40 million ounces. In contrast, the firm increased its full year iron ore production guidance for a second time this year to 42 to 44 million tonnes compared to the previous 41 to 43 million tonnes on strong performance from its Kumba unit in South Africa.
The firm’s copper production also increased by 5 percent to 147,300 tonnes, reflecting strong mine extraction and higher associated grades. Metallurgical coal production increased by 8 percent but its thermal coal production decreased by 15 percent. Anglo American attributes the decline in thermal coal production to operating challenges at Khwezela, a 100-hour safety stoppage across all the South African coal operations in August and weather related stoppages at the Cerrejón coal mine in Colombia.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Shaw, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.