Anglo American’s Rustenburg converter plant shuts down after explosion

6 March 2020 (Last Updated June 9th, 2020 10:28)

South African firm Anglo American Platinum has announced a temporary shutdown of the entire Anglo Converter Plant (ACP) in Rustenburg, following an explosion last month.

South African firm Anglo American Platinum has announced a temporary shutdown of the entire Anglo Converter Plant (ACP) in Rustenburg, following an explosion last month.

Anglo noted the ACP Phase A converter plant was damaged due to the explosion. However, were no injuries were reported due to the explosion.

Work has already started for the repair of ACP phase A and is expected to be completed by the second quarter of next year.

In a press statement Anglo American said: “As per normal business procedure, the phase B unit was commissioned to take over from the phase A plant and was in the process of ramping up to a steady state when water was detected in the furnace.

“Notwithstanding extensive testing being conducted to determine the source of the water, and a number of circuits being isolated, water continued to be observed in the furnace.”

In order to ensure the safety of all employees, the company has also decided to declare a shut down on the Phase B unit of ACP to avoid a catastrophic event.

The duration to fix the Phase B repair works will be around 80 days.

With the temporary closure of the entire ACP, the company had to declare force majeure to customers, suppliers of third-party purchase of concentrate, as well as tolling material suppliers.

The company noted that production from own mines will not be affected.

Meanwhile, the smelting process of concentrate produced from the company’s mines will be continued at one of the four smelter complexes.

In January 2018, Anglo American Platinum announced that it met all required criteria regarding the sale of its interest in Union Mine and MASA Chrome Company to a subsidiary of Siyanda Resources.