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Weather impacts Anglo output

POWER supply constraints and adverse weather in South Africa and flooding in Australia hurt Anglo American's coal production in the March quarter.

Angie Tomlinson
Weather impacts Anglo output

Anglo produced 22.3 million tonnes during the first quarter, down 2.8% on the March 2007 quarter. Thermal output was 11.1Mt, down 4%, Eskom coal production was down 3.5% to 8.4Mt, which was partially offset by a 4.9% jump in metallurgical coal output to 2.8Mt.

Despite the severe flooding in Queensland, Australian metallurgical coal production was higher thanks to productivity improvements in underground mines and the contribution from the newly acquired Foxleigh mine.

The $A835 million expansion project commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2007 at Dawson also helped increase output for both metallurgical and thermal coal.

Overall Australian production of thermal coal was 3.4Mt (up 8.2%) and metallurgical coal was 2.5Mt (up 6.9%).

In South Africa Eskom coal production decreased 3.5% following heavy rainfall, with the Kriel open cut hit hard. Eskom production was down 3.5%, thermal output down 19.3% and metallurgical production down 35.5%.

Anglo said its energy task team continues to address critical issues related to power supply constraints in South Africa, focusing on short-term supply constraints, enhanced emergency power provisions and supplementary power generation for the short, medium and longer term requirements of mining operations.

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