While the world’s economy is still reeling after Covid-19, fundamentals for PGMs remain strong. 

Natascha Viljoen, CEO of Anglo-American Platinum. Image credit: Mineral Council

Natascha Viljoen, CEO of Anglo-American Platinum. Image credit: Mineral Council

Although the early stages of recovery are underway in many geographic regions around the world, business remains stifled while the number of Covid-19 infections soar. South African platinum producers have not been spared the carnage, even though activities resumed soon after the country’s initial hard lockdown. All platinum producers were forced to adjust their PGM production guidance for 2020.

According to Natascha Viljoen, CEO of Anglo-American Platinum, the platinum giant’s production guidance for 2020 is now between 3.1- 3.6 million PGM ounces for 2020, with refined production and sales volumes expected to be in the same range.

The company states in their results that there is still a great deal of uncertainty, with limited visibility beyond a few months. “Mine supply is expected to be significantly lower this year due to the impact of Covid-19, while global recycling volumes are expected to be less affected. PGM demand will be impacted by the decline in global car and commercial vehicle sales and production, weaker sales of platinum jewellery, and softer industrial demand.”

Viljoen says that despite the impact on demand, platinum, palladium and rhodium will remain in deficit this year. “In the long-term, fundamentals for our suite of precious metals are strong, and we will continue investing to deliver value for all our stakeholders through the cycle. While the Covid-19 pandemic has required significant effort to keep our employees safe, as well as ensure that operations continue, we are focused on progressing to the next stage of value delivery. Our focus is on implementing technological improvements and innovation across our operations to meet and exceed the world benchmarks for operational excellence and investing in high return projects while studying potential growth and replacement options at Mogalakwena and Mototolo/Der Brochen. We also continue to leverage our market development efforts,” says Viljoen.