Anglo American, the diversified global mining company, reported a 24% improvement in production during the three months ended September. File Photo: IOL
Anglo American, the diversified global mining company, reported a 24% improvement in production during the three months ended September. File Photo: IOL

Anglo American reports 24% increase in production in 3 months

By Dineo Faku Time of article published Oct 23, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - Anglo American, the diversified global mining company, reported a 24percent improvement in production during the three months ended September.

Chief executive Mark Cutifani said yesterday that the mining company was operating at about 95 percent of its normal capacity - testament to its efforts to protect operational continuity across the business.

Despite the rebound in productivity in September, output for most commodities was below numbers seen in the third quarter of 2019.

Rough diamond production decreased by 4percent to 7.2million carats compared with 7.4million carats a year earlier driven by planned reductions in production to reflect the lower demand for rough diamonds due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cutifani said rough diamond sales had improved ahead of the key fourth quarter holiday selling season for diamond jewellery.

“We have also seen encouraging improvement in demand for rough diamonds as we approach the holiday selling season, although there is still some uncertainty in terms of the timing of a sustained recovery,” said Cutifani.

Rough diamonds sales were severely impacted by Covid-19 travel restrictions, with De Beers calling off its April sales auction due to lockdown regulations. The group reported a 9percent fall in total production at Kumba Iron Ore to 9.5million tons with production at the Sishen mine 9percent lower at 6.5million tons and 10percent lower at the Kolomela’s mine at 3million tons.

Anglo said Kumba’s ouput was reduced in response to both the elevated finished stock levels at the end of the second quarter of 2020 due to Covid-related rail and port constraints and in anticipation of the annual rail and port maintenance scheduled during the fourth quarter of 2020.

Kumba’s sales volumes increased by 7percent to 10.9million tons driven by a 13percent hike in export sales as Transnet’s performance returned to pre-Covid-19 levels, with a significant improvement in port loading rates.

At the Minas-Rio iron mine in Brazil production fell 18percent to 5million tons, reflecting the one month planned stoppage to carry out routine internal scanning of the pipeline.

“The inspection was completed successfully with operations resuming as scheduled at the start of October,” said the group.

Copper production increased by 4percent to 165700 tons, driven by strong plant performance at the Collahuasi mine in Chile, while output from Los Bronces in Chile fell by 1percent to 79400 tons.

Platinum production fell by 2percent to 516500 ounces and palladium production was flat at 352200 ounces and export metallurgical coal production plummeted 26percent to 4.8million tons, principally due to the suspension of operations at Grosvenor in Australia following the underground gas ignition incident in May.

At the thermal coal assets in South Africa, export thermal coal production increased by 7percent to 4.6million tons, mainly driven by the ramp up of the Navigation lifex section at Khwezela Colliery.

Anglo shares declined 2.13% on the JSE yesterday to close at R413.26.

BUSINESS REPORT

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