JOHANNESBURG, March 6 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Anglo American Platinum declared force majeure and cut its production outlook after an explosion led to a shutdown of processing facilities, sending its shares sharply lower and driving the price of platinum up.
Amplats, the world’s second-biggest platinum producer, cut its 2020 production guidance for platinum group metals (PGMs) by 900,000 ounces, from between 4.2 million and 4.7 million ounces to between 3.3 million and 3.8 million ounces.
The miner’s Johannesburg-listed shares closed down 14.3% and Anglo American, which owns 77% of Amplats, saw its London-listed shares fall 8.8%. Spot platinum prices rose on expectations of tighter supply and were up 2.9% by 1620 GMT.
An explosion on Feb. 10 damaged the Anglo Converter Plant (ACP) phase A plant, part of a chain of processing facilities, at Waterval smelter in Rustenburg, 141 km (88 miles) from Johannesburg.
The phase B unit was set to take over but water was detected in the furnace, which posed the risk of another explosion, so Amplats shut the plant down.