London - Anglo American posted a better-than-expected 14 percent rise in copper production in the second quarter, a bright spot in an otherwise tough quarter for the miner, which saw key earner iron ore dip.
It said iron ore production from its Kumba Iron Ore unit fell 1 percent to 11.3 million tonnes - against expectations of a small increase - as its Sishen mine continues to recover from the impact of a strike at the end of 2012.
That could prove a disappointment to investors, after increases seen at producers such as BHP Billiton, which posted record production in the 12 months to June and said expansion of the division was running ahead of schedule despite weaker prices.
Anglo's copper division, however, the biggest earner last year after iron ore, saw production rise to 182,900 tonnes, due to a 25 percent improvement at the troubled Collahuasi mine - owned jointly with Glencore Xstrata and a group of Japanese companies - and the ramp-up of its Los Bronces mine.
Anglo said it would keep its 2013 copper target at 680,000 tonnes, as it remains cautious around the recovery of Collahuasi, the world's third-largest mine, which has suffered a combination of work stoppages, heavy rains and fatal accidents.
Platinum, a unit whose troubles have been a focus for Anglo and its investors, saw a 2 percent rise in production to 594,000 ounces - less than forecast due to strikes and what Anglo said was a lack of flexibility to move employees to operations where there is a skills shortage.
Steel-making coal for export fell 9 percent, after production cuts in anticipation of poor market conditions.
Diamonds, though, met forecasts with a 10 percent rise.
New chief executive Mark Cutifani is expected to update the market next week on his strategic vision for the group after a three-month review which took in troubled areas such as platinum and Brazilian iron ore. - Reuters