London - Anglo American [JSE:AGL] posted increased volumes
in five of its seven key commodities including copper and iron ore in the third
quarter, as it was cushioned for now from the full impact of weeks of crippling strikes.
Anglo, however, indicated the stoppages would hit fourth
quarter production of iron ore and platinum, and drive up costs.
Labour troubles across the mining sector
spread to Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS], the world’s top producer of the precious metal,
last month, just before the end of the current reporting period. They later
spread to Anglo’s Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] unit, further increasing pressure on
the global miner’s management.
Kumba’s Sishen mine has since begun to ramp up operations,
but Amplats workers have not yet returned to Amplats’ Rustenburg, Union and
Amandelbult mining operations.
Anglo said it had produced 157,300 tonnes of copper in the
quarter, up 12% and broadly in line with analysts’ expectations, helped by the
ramp up of Los Bronces and despite a 40% drop in its share of production from
Chile’s Collahuasi mine, the worlds third largest.
Iron ore production rose 14%, as the illegal strike at
Kumba’s Sishen mine began only at the start of October.
Platinum production was flat, again in line with forecasts,
at 649,000 ounces, though the strike caused the loss of 42,000 ounces of
equivalent refined platinum. Another 96,300 ounces were lost from disruption so
far this month.