JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Despite removing higher-cost platinum and metallurgical coal volumes, LSE- and JSE-listed Anglo American has reported a 5% rise in total production on a copper equivalent basis in 2017.
“We have delivered another strong operating performance in 2017. The 5% increase for the full-year reflects our ongoing focus on productivity and was achieved despite the removal of unprofitable and higher-cost platinum and metallurgical coal volumes, consistent with our disciplined, value-led approach to production,” said CEO Mark Cutifani.
The company highlighted the ramp-up of the Gahcho Kue diamond mine, in Canada, and the Grosvenor coal mine, in Australia, which made positive contributions to the full-year output, while a strong performance at the Sishen iron-ore mine delivered an 8% increase in subsidiary Kumba Iron Ore’s output.
The company highlighted a record quarter of nickel production at 11 400 t during the fourth quarter of the year, owing to improved operational stability. Full-year output increased 5% to 43 800 t.
Barro Alto produced 9 100 t and Codemin produced 2 300 t during the quarter under review. Both mines are located in Brazil.
Anglo American reported a marginal increase in copper output to 148 600 t during the fourth quarter of the year, taking full-year production to 579 300 t.
The group’s copper mines are located in Chile.
Collahuasi achieved record production of 63 500 t during the quarter and 230 500 t for the year, driven by continued strong plant performance and higher grades.
Los Bronces also delivered a solid operational performance, with output of 75 400 t during the quarter under review, and 308 300 t for the full-year, a 3% decrease on the prior year.
El Soldado production decreased by 29% to 9 700 t for the quarter and by 11% to 40 500 t for the year.
Meanwhile, Export metallurgical coal production decreased by 8% to 4.9-million tonnes during the fourth quarter and by 11% to 19.6-million tonnes for the full-year, owing to an extended longwall move at Grosvenor in the fourth quarter and lower production at Dawson, in Australia.
Primary export thermal coal production decreased by 6% to four-million tonnes in the quarter under review and increased by 5% to 15.8-million tonnes for the full year.
Anglo American also reported a 21% decrease in Eskom-related production to 5.9-million tonnes in the fourth quarter and a 13% decrease to 26-million tonnes for the full-year, owing to the end of mine life of the Eskom dedicated pit at Khwezela, lower Eskom offtake from New Vaal and reserve constraints at Kriel as the mine approaches the end its life.