London - Global miner Anglo American [JSE:AGL] posted a rise
in second-quarter output for its key commodities, with iron ore and copper
helped higher by production ramp-ups at the flagship Kolomela and Los Bronces
mines, while platinum and diamonds were weaker.
Anglo announced production results for the second quarter
just a day after a major reshuffle at its South African units that included a
new bosses for platinum, Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] and thermal coal units,
triggered by the departure of Neville Nicolau from the helm of Anglo Platinum
[JSE:AMS]. He will be replaced by Kumba's Chris Griffith.
Iron ore, a key plank of the miner's growth strategy, was up
12% at 12.9 million tonnes, due to the ramp up of Kumba’s Kolomela mine that
offset operational issues at Sishen, and improvements at Anglo’s Amapa operation
in Brazil. Kumba reported earnings separately on Friday.
Copper production was helped 7% higher by Chile’s Los
Bronces, though increases there were partly dented by lower grades and adverse
weather, as well as lower recoveries and a ball mill failure at the Collahuasi
operation, the world’s third largest copper mine.
Diamonds followed a drop in the first quarter with a further
11% drop in the second as De Beers, which separately reported earnings on
Friday, focuses on maintenance and waste stripping while it waits for demand to
Platinum, the unit whose troubles have been a focus for
Anglo and its investors, saw virtually flat production compared to the previous
year, thanks to improved productivity and safety performance at its core Rustenburg
Refined platinum production totalled 623,000 ounces, down 3%
on the same quarter last year. That dip was partly caused by the delayed
restart of the converter plant, with the backlog in stocks to be processed by
the end of the third quarter.
Anglo’s metallurgical coal operation, meanwhile, produced a
record quarter thanks to improvements at its open cut operations including
Peace River Coal, which the group has elected not to sell. Production of the
steelmaking coal rose 23% in the second quarter, year on year, to 4.8 million
Thermal coal, meanwhile, saw production increases both in
Colombia and South Africa.