Amplats announces temporary closure of ACP Phase B unit
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(Kitco News) - Anglo American Platinum has shut down its Phase B unit of the Anglo Converter Plant for the second time this year, the company announced Wednesday.
Officials said a water leak was detected Sunday in the high-pressure cooling section. The unit was shut down and employees were evacuated safely.
“Whilst a detailed technical investigation into the cause of this leak and potential repairs is under way, the company has taken the decision to temporarily close the ACP Phase B unit to ensure an ongoing safe operating environment, protect employees and protect the integrity of the plant,” Amplats said in a prepared statement. “This latest action is separate from the repair work that was recently completed at the ACP Phase B unit and there is no damage to the prior repairs or to the furnace.”
Amplats did not make offer any guidance on how this might impact production but said it would provide more information when it becomes available, expected to be early next week. Meanwhile, the company added, repairs to the Phase A unit are “progressing well” are not impacted by current work at the Phase B unit.
The first outage this year lasted almost two months and the decline in supply was big enough to support prices of platinum group metals during the early stages of global COVID-19 lockdowns, said BMO Capital Markets.
“Amplats had expected to catch up refined PGM output in the second half, an aspiration that may now be in doubt,” BMO added.