South American ops improve as Anglo coal production wavers

YEAR-on-year, metallurgical and thermal coal production for Anglo American was down 9% and 5% respectively in the second quarter, to 4.4 million tonnes met and 4Mt thermal coal on weakening market conditions.
South American ops improve as Anglo coal production wavers South American ops improve as Anglo coal production wavers South American ops improve as Anglo coal production wavers South American ops improve as Anglo coal production wavers South American ops improve as Anglo coal production wavers

Courtesy of Anglo American

Justin Niessner

But success at the company's expansion projects in South America has helped offset some weaknesses in the London-headquartered giant’s production figures for the 2013 second quarter.

Output from the company’s Kumba iron division edged down 1% year on year to 11.3 million tonnes during the period due to a weaker post-strike performance from the Sishen operation in South Africa.

It was offset, however, by a strong show from the Kolomela mine in Brazil that ramped up in 2012, increasing by 49% to 2.6Mt, reflecting full production for the whole quarter.

Total iron ore production for the first half was marginally better than a year ago at 21.6Mt.

Export sales volumes decreased 4% to 10.2Mt due to lower stockpiles and production at Sishen.

Broker SP Angel called Anglo’s overall results disappointing after a good start from Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton earlier this week.

“Copper and diamonds seem to be the bright spot for the company with De Beers now within Anglo offering potential for upside with improvements in the diamond market,” SP Angel said in a morning note.

“With the de-rating of the whole sector, Anglo is not the immediate choice unless you believe they will become a bid target.”

Chile-based copper operations increased production 14% compared to Q2 2012 to 182,900t.

It was attributed to improved ore feed continuity and higher throughput at the Los Bronces mine, as well as a return to higher grades and recoveries at the Collahuasi mine.

Also in Chilean copper, Anglo’s El Soldado and Mantos Blancos mines lifted production due to improved grades and increased cathode production from dump leaching.

Nickel production was down 22% versus Q2 2012 to 8500t due to the permanent stoppage in November of operations at the Loma de Niquel mine in Venezuela.

It was partially offset by higher production at Barro Alto in Brazil, which, despite a number of stoppages during the quarter is expected to produce 20,000-25,000t in 2013.

In Africa, platinum equivalent refined production was up 2% to 594,000 ounces despite intermittent illegal industrial action in South Africa.

Diamond production increased 10% to 7.9 million carats on better grades at Botswana operations.

Phosphates production for the quarter increased year on year by 15% to 312,300t while niobium production slipped 8% to 1100t.

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