Anglo American Platinum posts higher chrome sales in H1

By Davide Ghilotti
Published: Friday, 08 September 2017

Sales of recovered chrome concentrates from Anglo’s PGM operations rose 38% in the first half of 2017, amid widespread weakness in the platinum market.

Chrome production at Anglo American Platinum’s recently-commissioned Amandelbult recovery plant reached 276,300 tonnes in the first half of the year, the company announced in its H1 results.

The chrome recovery facility was first opened in February this year at Anglo’s Amandelbult Complex in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, to produce commercial grade chrome concentrate.

The company expects production to reach 530,000 tonnes in 2017 full year: this is slightly below what Anglo first told IM at the time of the commissioning of the site, when it forecast a volume closer to 600,000 tonnes, including chemical and metallurgical grades.

Financially, the facility has performed well against initial cost forecasts, the company said: "Even during ramp-up, the project achieved a six month payback period for the full South African Rand (Zar) 400m capital cost ($30.9m*)."

"Amandelbult chrome has a low cost of production and generated cash flow of Zar 261m, despite the fall in the chrome price and the increase in chrome inventory in H1 2017," it added.

Chrome is produced as a by-product at Anglo’s platinum group metals (PGM) production operations.

*Conversions made August 2017