FILE PHOTO: A still image from video shows coloured synthetic diamonds on display at De Beers' International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research in Maidenhead
JOHANNESBURG - Anglo American yesterday said that its subsidiary De Beers had bought a Canadian company for about $81million (R1.07billion).

Anglo on the same day reported a 12percent hike in copper production to 158000 tons in the second quarter of 2018, while its subsidiary De Beers’ increased its diamond production by 3percent to 9million carats.

De Beers Canada agreed to purchase 100percent of the outstanding securities of Peregrine Diamonds, the owner of the high quality Chidliak diamond resource located in Canada’s Nunavut Territory, giving it control of the Chidliak diamond resource.

Anglo in a production update said that metallurgical coal production increased by 33percent to 5.3million tons, mainly as a result of strong performance at Moranbah and Grosvenor mines, both in Australia.

Thermal coal export production slipped 1percent to 7.2million tons.

Anglo American said the production update excluded the Minas-Rio iron ore operation in Brazil, whose operations were suspended in March, following two leaks in the iron ore slurry pipeline.

Chief executive Mark Cutifani said the strong performance was driven mainly by copper and metallurgical coal production, which rose 6percent.

“This reflects our consistent and relentless focus on driving efficiency and productivity from our existing world class asset base,” said Cutifani.

Anglo American also announced that it had hiked production guidance for its platinum business (Amplats) following improved performance from its Mogalakwena platinum mine in Limpopo, whose production soared 17percent to 133400 ounces.

Mogalakwena increased overall platinum group metals (PGM) production by 11percent to 586300 ounces during the quarter to end June.

Anglo American has also revised full-year PGM production guidance to between 4.85million ounces and 5.10million ounces, up from the previous range of 4.75million ounces to 5million ounces.

The previous forecast for platinum production was between 2.3million and 2.4million ounces.

Mogalakwena PGM production increased by 15percent to 313800 ounces, driven by higher grade, an increase in concentrator throughput and higher recoveries. Platinum production increased by 17percent to 133400 ounces and palladium production increased by 14percent to 145100 ounces.

An analyst, who declined to be named, yesterday said the price of platinum had remained at levels unprofitable for most producers. In the past five years, the price of platinum has fallen from more than $1500 an ounce to around $800 an ounce.

Amplats shares declined by 1.84percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R346.50.