Anglo increases metals output

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Bloomberg

Anglo American’s second-quarter production of iron ore, copper, diamonds and nickel increased, as platinum and thermal coal declined, the UK-based mining firm said yesterday.

Iron ore volumes rose to 11.5 million tons from 11.3 million tons a year earlier, it said. Copper rose 6 percent to 194 400 tons, while platinum equivalent refined production slumped by 40 percent to 358 000 ounces.

A five-month strike crippled output at South African mines of the three biggest producers, including industry leader Anglo American Platinum. The Anglo-controlled unit said last week that first-half profit fell as much as 96 percent because of the strike, which ended on June 24.

Anglo is reviewing its operations around the world to increase earnings after Mark Cutifani took over as chief executive last year amid cost overruns and delays in developing projects.

Cutifani set a goal of improving the return on capital employed to at least 15 percent by 2016 from 8 percent last year and plans to sell assets that fail to achieve the target.

Anglo forfeited 239 000 ounces of platinum production in the second quarter, which brought the total to 424 000 ounces for the first half. The strike did not affect the Unki mine and the Mogalakwena open-pit operations, where output rose 23 percent to 96 000 ounces, it said.

Production of export metallurgical coal, used in steelmaking, jumped 10 percent in the second quarter to 4.8 million tons. Output of export thermal coal declined 5 percent to 8.1 million tons because of lower production from Drayton in Australia.

Nickel production surged 25 percent to 10 600 tons, mainly because of “operational stability” at the Barro Alto mine in Brazil, Anglo said. Production at Barro Alto climbed 41 percent to 8 600 tons.

Anglo shares fell 1.75 percent to close at R280.12 yesterday.


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