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Anglo lifts iron ore, copper output

Jul 20 2012 09:09 Reuters

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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 recover.

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 mines.

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 tonnes.

Thermal coal, meanwhile, saw production increases both in Colombia and South Africa.

 
anglo american  |  iron ore  |  copper  |  mining
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