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Anglo copper production falls

Oct 20 2011 09:49 Reuters

Company Data

KUMBA IRON ORE LIMITED [JSE:KIO]

Last traded 382.70
Change 8.47
% Change 0.02
Cumulative volume 560401
Market cap 123.26bn

Last Updated: 24/04/2014 at 04:29. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

ANGLO AMERICAN PLC [JSE:AGL]

Last traded 277.90
Change 4.49
% Change 0.02
Cumulative volume 2469256
Market cap 390.58bn

Last Updated: 24/04/2014 at 04:29. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

BHP BILLITON PLC [JSE:BIL]

Last traded 343.22
Change 2.22
% Change 0.01
Cumulative volume 1023907
Market cap 733.18bn

Last Updated: 24/04/2014 at 04:29. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

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London - Miner Anglo American [JSE:AGL] posted a 9% drop in copper output in the third quarter, blaming lower grades and blizzard conditions in Chile, but said production for the full year would be above 2010, thanks to the expansion of Los Bronces.

The expansion of the Los Bronces project in Chile is on track for the fourth quarter, the miner said.

Anglo is the latest of the majors to report lacklustre copper production, with Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL] and Xstrata all reporting weaker output of the red metal, falling short of expectations. Freeport McMoRan, the world’s largest listed copper miner, cut its sales target for the year, citing an uncertain outlook.

Copper is the second-largest contributor to Anglo’s group profit after iron ore, where production rose 3% to 12.2 million tonnes, boosted by unit Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] Sishen mine.

Production from its metallurgical coal division grew 5% to 8 million tonnes, thanks to a 24% jump and record production from its Australian open cut operations.

Nickel production increased 14% to 6 500 tonnes, as Barro Alto ramps up, while refined platinum production dipped 7% to 647 000 ounces.

The key to Anglo’s future performance and production is its hefty project pipeline, including Barro Alto Nickel and the Minas Rio project, both in Brazil, which could help the group nearly double iron ore production by 2014.

Analysts say production overall could double from 2009 levels by the end of the decade.

Strikes hit

Copper, which accounts for almost a third of profit, is the second-largest contributor to Anglo’s bottom line after iron ore, where production rose 3% to 12.2 million tonnes, boosted by Kumba Iron Ore's Sishen mine.

The growth rate is well below bullish production jumps seen at other miners including BHP and Rio, the latter hitting sales records despite uncertainty over price and Chinese demand.

Production from Anglo’s metallurgical coal division grew 5% to 8 million tonnes, thanks to a 24% jump and record production from its Australian open cut operations. Excluding thermal coal within that division, met coal dipped 4%, dented by longwall moves at underground operations.

Its thermal coal division was hit by strikes in South Africa, with production from South Africa and Colombia dipping 10%.

Both coal and iron ore, however, saw rising sales.

Nickel production increased 14% to 6 500 tonnes, as Barro Alto ramps up, while refined platinum production dipped 7% to 647 000 ounces.

The key to Anglo’s future performance and production is its hefty project pipeline, including Barro Alto Nickel and the Minas Rio project, both in Brazil, which could help the group nearly double iron ore production by 2014.

Anglo said Minas Rio construction was progressing, with first ore on ship expected in the second half of 2013. 

anglo american  |  copper  |  mining
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