Coal up, copper down for Xstrata

SWISS mining giant Xstrata has reported record annual production from its Australian thermal coal operations, with output rising 12% to 49.8 million tonnes, while copper production was down.
Coal up, copper down for Xstrata Coal up, copper down for Xstrata Coal up, copper down for Xstrata Coal up, copper down for Xstrata Coal up, copper down for Xstrata

Image courtesy of Xstrata Coal

Kristie Batten

Total coal production for 2011 was 85.3Mt, up 7% on 2010.

Mined nickel production of 105,925t was also a new record for the company.

Xstrata attributed the 15% jump in production to the reopening of the Falcondo ferronickel operation in the Dominican Republic.

Production at Sudbury in Canada was up 28%, while the Nikkelverk refinery in Norway achieved record production.

In Australia, the volume of ore processed jumped 46% to 778,073t to offset lower grades which resulted in a slight rise in production to 17,034t.

Copper output was 3% lower as a number of operations approach the end of their lives, but the company described it as a transition period with new lower-cost production set to begin in the second half of this year.

Copper-in-concentrate production at Ernest Henry in Queensland rose 34% to 100,300t, but overall copper production from Mount Isa fell 6% due to lower grades and reduced production at the Enterprise mine.

Production at Antamina and Tintaya in Peru and Lomas Bayas in Chile increased, while production at Alumbrera in Argentina, Collahuasi in Chile and Kidd in Canada dropped.

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