UPDATE 1-S.Africa' Amplats cuts refined production guidance after closure of processing unit

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JOHANNESBURG, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) cut its 2020 refined production and sales guidance on Thursday after closing the Phase B unit of its Anglo Converter Plant (ACP) processing facility due to a series of water leaks.

The Johannesburg-listed miner, one of the world’s largest platinum producers, said the closure would result in an increase in work-in-progress inventory until its Phase A unit was operational. It lowered its 2020 refined production and sales guidance to 2.5 million ounces from 3.1-3.3 million ounces.

Amplats said it had put contingency plans in place and would be engaging with customers to minimise disruption to contractual obligations.

The company completed repairs to the Phase B unit in June after a blast earlier in the year shut its processing facilities in Rustenburg, North West Province, and forced the miner to declared force majeure to suppliers of concentrate.

Repairs to the Phase B unit enabled the force majeure to be lifted, while the company completes repairs to the Phase A unit.

“The ACP Phase B unit has been fragile and has unfortunately recently experienced a number of further instances of water leaks,” said Amplats CEO Natascha Viljoen.

The platinum miner said it expected the rebuild of the ACP Phase A unit to be completed towards the end of the year.

It said it remained in a net cash position of 28 billion rand at the end of October, with 25 billion rand of committed facilities available. (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Mark Potter)