Victoria Falls – The World Platinum Investment Council’s 2021 first quarter report shows that platinum supply is forecast to rebound, rising by 20 percent (+988 kilo ounces) year-on-year to 5,957koz following production disruptions in 2020.
South Africa, WIPC says, will experience growth higher than the global average.
“South African production is expected to grow by 32 percent (+1,042koz) as output … returns to full capacity for the year and COVID-19 mining disruptions ease. The ACP (Anglo American Platinum) Phase A Unit continues to achieve designed capacity and is expected to supplement refined output by processing 200koz of the 500koz, semi-processed inventory that built up in 2020. The rebuild of the full throughput standby alternate Phase B unit is scheduled to be finalised in H2’21 and once complete will reduce the risk of any further outages,” reads part of the WIPC report.
WPIC says the management of COVID-19 protocols at South African platinum mines is exceeding expectations.
“The sustained high basket price continues to provide healthy cash flows and incentivise project development. Most recently announced growth projects however, will only increase supply in the long term but the reinstatement of existing projects alongside the successful management of COVID-19 protocols have led to some producers increasing 2021 guidance and thus we have raised our outlook for South Africa by three percent (+142koz) compared to our previous forecast in March 2021,” it adds.
Russian platinum production is projected to fall 12 percent year-on-year due to mine disturbances such as flooding and building collapses which led to mine closures.
The WPIC forecasts 2021 demand to grow by five percent to 8,041koz, driven by recovery in the automotive, jewellery and industrial sectors.
According to WPIC supply in the first quarter of 2021 was seven percent higher than in first quarter of 2020.
South Africa is the world’s largest producer of platinum, processing 110 tonnes in 2018 followed by Russia (21 tonnes), Zimbabwe (14 tonnes), Canada (9.5 tonne) and the United States (3.6 tonnes).