The company, which has its Australian head office in Brisbane, increased its sales of high-margin metallurgical coal by 43% and reduced unit costs by 7%, chief executive officer of metallurgical coal Seamus French said.
“Anglo American’s metallurgical coal business has delivered a strong first-half performance with record coal production, including a 25 per cent increase in saleable production of metallurgical coal compared to the previous year,” French said.
“These results contribute to Anglo American’s outstanding first-half performance and they deliver on our strategic objectives in Australia of doubling the size of the metallurgical coal business in the next ten years by developing high quality and high margin long life assets.”
A key part of Anglo American’s strategy for the first half of 2010 was to increase production of metallurgical coal products and to drive down unit costs through asset optimisation and continuous improvement at operations.
“I expect production volumes to increase in the second half of the year as our asset optimisation programs ramp up and we take advantage of continuing firm demand for metallurgical coal from China and India,” French said.
“Our strategy is paying off, but we are aiming for more. To meet expected demand growth in China and India, planning is on track to deliver a number of major new projects at Grosvenor and Moranbah South in the Northern Bowen Basin of Queensland and Drayton South and Dartbrook in NSW.
“Our combined projects have the potential to generate investments of around $A4 billion and generate more than 2000 jobs.
“We are making progress with the first stage of our 8.6Mt per annum premium grade hard coking coal Grosvenor project and expect to submit the project for Anglo American Board approval in late 2011.
“Grosvenor will be delivered in two stages and increase our metallurgical coal production in Australia by more than 60 per cent on 2009 levels.”
The Anglo American parent company has announced an operating profit of $US4.4 billion for the first six months of the year, underlying earnings of $US2.2 billion (AUD$2.5 billion) and an interim dividend payment of $US0.25 per share.