Lonmin suffered another setback at its number one furnace Monday that will probably lead to a loss of 20, 000 platinum ounces as they carry out repair work this week.
Company spokesperson Alex Shorland-Ball said although the company viewed the problem in a cooler on the wall of its smelter as a minor setback, it was pleased that its newly installed monitoring system had detected the fault early so the situation could be managed.
Shorland-Ball said the company was currently waiting for the furnace to cool off in order to establish what repair work needs to be done. Lonmin expected the work to take seven days at this point, but would make a further announcement about the resumption of smelting later this week.
We are proud of the fact that the overhaul work that was done on the furnace over the last twelve months have paid off. We are also planning another overhaul of the smelter in November that will move the cooler to the outside of the furnace. This would mean that any further problems could be resolved without waiting for the smelter to cool off in future.
The company shut down the number one furnace earlier this year for four weeks to carryout a planned inspection and repair.
Lonmin cut its fiscal 2008 platinum sales forecast for a second time in April to 775,000 ounces due to power supply problems and the furnace shutdown. The company is due to give a production forecast update for the year in the beginning of August when it reports on the third quarter.