File picture: Nadine Hutton
JOHANNESBURG - Anglo American yesterday reported a mixed production report for the third quarter ended September resulting in the revision of its full-year production target.

“We have further increased production guidance at Kumba Iron Ore as we continue to improve our broader productivity performance,” Anglo American chief executive Mark Cutifani said. “In platinum, we have taken necessary steps to remove unprofitable ounces from production as we focus on value over volume.”

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), the world’s top platinum producer, revised its production guidance for the precious metal in concentrate to between 2.30 million ounces and 2.35 million ounces down from a previous target of between 2.35 million ounces and 2.40 million ounces.

Amplats, which is 80% owned by Anglo, removed 90 000 ounces of unprofitable production following its decision to place the cash-guzzling Bokoni mine, a joint venture with Atlatsa Resources, on care and maintenance.

Amplats also suspended its Maseve mine, resulting in the removal of 60 000 ounces. Maseve was sold by Canada’s Platinum Group Metals to Royal Bafokeng Platinum for $74 million (R1.01 billion) in shares and cash.

The company also said that the temporary closure of the Mototolo concentrator would impact on full year production. “Operational efficiencies across the portfolio, especially at high-margin Mogalakwena have partially offset the reduction in unprofitable production,” it said.

Amplats revised its refined production guidance to between 2.40 million ounces and 2.45 million ounces. The company had previously guided it would produce between 2.45million ounces and 2.50 million platinum.

Refined production guidance was higher than produced guidance as built-up pipeline inventory of 100000 ounces would be refined by year-end. Platinum production for the quarter was flat at 621000 ounces, with strong performances from Mogalakwena, Unki and Union, partially offset by reduced production from the Bokoni mine, which was placed on care and maintenance, as well as lower production from Mototolo.

In terms of Kumba, production guidance was further increased to between 42million tons and 44million tons following the continuation of strong productivity performance at the Sishen Iron Ore Mine in the Northern Cape.

Kumba reported that iron ore production decreased by 2% to 11.5 million tons in September.

In July, Kumba announced that it had resumed dividend payments, with an interim dividend of R5.1bn declared representing R15.97 a share. The company benefited from strong operational and commodity performance in the half-year to June.

De Beers said rough diamond production increased by 46% to 9.2 million carats, in line with the higher production forecast for 2017, reflecting stable trading conditions as well as the contribution from the ramp-up of Gahcho Kué in Canada. In South Africa diamond production increased by 41% to 1.5 million carats, largely as a result of higher grades at the Venetia mine.

-BUSINESS REPORT 

Anglo American shares dropped 0.50percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R260.51.