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Amplats shifts gears amid PGM downturn

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Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has felt the impact of lower platinum group metal (PGM) prices, revealing mixed results in its 2023 full year report.

Headline earnings for the year were R14 billion ($1.1 billion), 71 per cent lower than 2022. Amplats closed 2023 with a net cash position of R15 billion ($1.2 billion).

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) were R24 billion ($1.9 billion), down 67 per cent compared to 2022.

Amplats said its 2023 financial results reflected a weakness in the macro-economic environment and lower PGM prices, citing a 35 per cent decrease in the PGM dollar basket price, most notably palladium and rhodium.

“As was the case in 2022, our profitability continues to be impacted by lower PGM prices and above-inflation cost increases in utilities and consumables,” Anglo American Platinum chief executive officer Craig Miller said.

“We have worked hard to address aspects in our business that are impacted by both the global and local challenges currently facing the PGM industry and have already implemented several key cost-saving initiatives.”

One of those initiatives involves a company-wide restructuring expected to impact 3700 employees across the business.

“It is important to understand that this has been a decision taken as a last resort for the company,” Miller said.

“We will approach and implement the process in line with our values and cultural commitments through centring our people and the impact this will have on them.”

Amplat’s Mogalakwena, Mototolo and Unki PGM operations in South Africa have achieved more than 11 years of fatality-free mining, with Amandelbult recording 9.6 million fatality-free shifts.

Overall, Amplats welcomed its second consecutive year without work-related fatalities at its managed operations – the company’s longest fatality-free period on record.

Mototolo and Amandelbult also recently achieved a 75 and 50 score, respectively, for the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance’s (IRMA) Standard of Responsible Mining.

Unki retained its IRMA 75 following a surveillance audit.

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