Anglo American records marginal hike in production

Date: Oct 22, 2021

Anglo American yesterday recorded a marginal 2% increase in production during the third quarter ending September 2021, saying it was on track to meet its full-year production guidance.

Anglo, the globally diversified mining company, said operating levels were generally maintained at around 95% normal capacity.

Chief executive Mark Cutifani attributed the increase in production to the planned higher rough diamond production at De Beers, higher production from the Minas-Rio iron ore operation in Brazil and improved plant performance at Kumba iron ore operations in South Africa.

“We are broadly on track to deliver our full-year production guidance across all products, while taking the opportunity to tighten up the guidance for diamonds, copper and iron ore within our current range as we approach the end of the year,” Cutifani said.

Iron ore production increased by 15% to 16.9 million tons due to a 22% rise at Minas-Rio and an 11% increase at Kumba Iron Ore.

In terms of De Beers, rough diamond production increased by 28% to 9.2 million carats, reflecting planned higher production to meet stronger demand for rough diamonds.

In South Africa diamond production increased by 34% to 1.6 million carats due to planned treatment of higher grade ore from the final cut of the Venetia open pit and an improvement in plant performance. Botswana’s diamond production increased by 33% to 6.4 million carats primarily driven by the planned treatment of higher grade ore at Jwaneng, partly offset by lower production at Orapa due to the planned closure of Plant 1.

Namibian diamond production increased by 65% to 400 000 carats.

In terms of platinum group metals (PGM), Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) total PGM production remained in line with the prior period at 1.116 million ounces with platinum production 1 percent higher at 519 100 ounces, offset by a 3% decrease in palladium production to 342 600 ounces.

Total PGM production from own-managed mines decreased by 7% to 606 300 ounces. PGM production from joint operations increased by 19% to 227 400 ounces mainly as a result of the year-on-year recovery from Covid-19.

Amplats chief executive Natascha Viljoen said the company was on track to achieve its production and sales targets for the year, while carefully managing the ongoing risks posed by Covid-19 and the potential for Eskom power outages.

“Our efforts to mitigate these risks include an extensive workplace vaccination programme, with over 22 000 employees and contractors receiving at least one vaccine dose,” Viljoen said.

Viljoen said the company had also progressed its plans to build a 100 MW solar plant at the Mogalakwena plant, which would assist towards meeting the target of achieving carbon neutrality across the business by 2040.

Export metallurgical coal production decreased by 11% to 4.3 million tons due to operations at the Moranbah mine in Australia being affected by challenging geological conditions for most of the quarter.

Manganese ore production increased by 7% to just more than 1 million tons, benefiting from improved productivity at the South African operations.



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