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Overview

Our 80% owned subsidiary, Anglo American Platinum Ltd, is the world's largest primary producer of platinum, accounting for about 40% of global supply.

Platinum Ore being transported at the Thembalani Platinum mineBelt attendant Eldorah Dikobe watches platinum ore being transported at Thembalani Platinum mine.

It mines, processes, refines and markets the entire range of platinum group metals (PGMs) including platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium. Base metals such as nickel, copper and cobalt sulphate are important by-products and are significant contributors to earnings.

Operations

Our platinum operations exploit the world's richest reserve of PGMs, known as the Bushveld Complex, which contains the PGM-bearing Merensky, UG2 and Platreef ores.

It currently owns:

  • ten wholly-owned mines
  • a tailings re-treatment operation
  • three smelters
  • a base metals refinery
  • a precious metals refinery

Concentrating, smelting and refining of the output are undertaken at Rustenburg Platinum Mines’ metallurgical facilities.

Platinum's 100% owned mining operations now consist of the five mines at Rustenburg Section – Khomanani, Bathopele, Siphumelele, Thembelani and Khuseleka – Amandelbult Section's two mines, Tumela and Dishab; as well as Mogalakwena and Twickenham mines and the new Unki mine in Zimbabwe.

Union Mine is 85% held, with a black economic empowerment partner, the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela traditional community, holding the remainder.

Platinum also has 50:50 joint ventures at Modikwa and Mototolo mines as well as 50:50 pooling and sharing agreements covering the reserves of the Kroondal and Marikana mines and portions of the reserves at Thembelani and Khuseleka. It also has a 33% shareholding in the combined Bafokeng-Rasimone platinum mine and Styldrift properties.

Strategy

In reformulating its strategy, Platinum has reviewed the business across the entire value chain to address structural challenges that have eroded profitability over time with the intention of creating a safe, sustainable, competitive and profitable platinum business for the long term benefit of all its stakeholders.

This will be achieved through the alignment of baseline production with long term demand expectations, focusing on a high quality portfolio of operations to produce PGMs on an economically sustainable basis. An organisational design has been developed to ensure that the operations are supported by an appropriate level of overhead, while the commercial strategy aims to ensure value and stability for Platinum and customers, while promoting new PGM applications. Operationally, the business intends to increase exposure to lower risk, higher margin, less capital intensive mines, supporting a significant reduction in the cost base and a more efficient allocation of capital. Flexibility for long term growth options will nevertheless be retained, ensuring Platinum is well positioned should demand increase above expectation.

Platinum continues to take its social responsibility seriously, particularly to its employees and surrounding communities. The implementation of the strategy aims to deliver a stable, competitive and profitable business that will be best placed to sustain and create employment over the long term.

Growth

Project capital spend is now directly related to Platinum's long-term ounce requirements. This has led to a reduction in the rate of spend, and all previously deferred projects have been reviewed and are now incorporated into our growth for value strategy.

Platinum is involved in developing mining activity for PGMs on the Great Dyke of Zimbabwe, the second largest known repository of platinum after the Bushveld Complex. We are focusing exploration work in Zimbabwe on new projects in the Great Dyke as well as establishing extensions to the Unki resource base for potential future projects.

Strategic Portfolio Review

On 15 January 2013, Anglo American announced the proposals of its portfolio review, the objective of which was to assess the options available to create a sustainable, competitive and profitable Anglo American Platinum. Should these proposals be ultimately implemented, production from high cost assets will be replaced with that from low cost, high quality assets over the next decade, with options evaluated to fill capacity and reduce costs.

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