Platinum producer Northam Platinum says it has reduced its energy intensity from a maximum of 12 MW to a current average of 8 MW at its Zondereinde mine smelter.

The company said the reduction has been implemented to accommodate a series of ultrasonic and chemical tests to determine the extent of possible erosion of the refractory bricks comprising the walls of the smelter.

Northam noted that these tests will necessitate a reduction in the volume of concentrate treated in the smelter, adding that receipt of concentrate produced by Platmin Limited has been temporarily suspended.

Captive concentrate produced in excess of the reduced capacity of the smelter will if necessary be treated at smelters operated by others on a toll basis, the company said in a statement.

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