Output at Amplats hit by Eskom power cuts
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) first quarter production fell 6 percent, hit by problems at Eskom, operational challenges and ore stockpiling in the same period the year before.
Power cuts implemented by Eskom pose a threat to miners which are among the biggest users of power in the country and are already grappling with weak profits.
Amplats' total platinum group metal production fell 6 percent to 998,900 ounces for the quarter ended March. 31, from 1,062,800 ounces in the same period a year ago.
Eskom cut power across the country in February and March as low coal supplies, a severe cash crunch, and multiple failures at its ageing fleet of power stations throttled supply.
Amplats said the power cuts hit PGM production at its Mogalakwena operations, which declined by 6 percent to 307,200 ounces, and at its Amandelbult operations, which decreased 7 percent to 192,800 ounces.
In February, Amplats said it lost 14,000 platinum ounces when Eskom implemented five straight days of power cuts and was considering building a 100 megawatt solar power plant at its Mogalakwena operations.
Amplats said if power disruptions persisted, there could be an impact on the timing of refining the built-up work-in-progress inventory in full, which it expects to have refined by the end of 2019.