Diversified miner Anglo American’s focus on driving efficiency and productivity across the business resulted in another strong quarter, with volumes for the third quarter 1% higher year-on-year, Anglo CE Mark Cutifani commented on Tuesday.
“Production per employee has increased by 5% [so far this year], compared [with] 2017, as we maintain relentless discipline on controllable costs.
“[A] strong operational performance at our copper assets delivered a 17% increase in production, more than offsetting planned lower volumes at De Beers and the impact of rail infrastructure constraints at Kumba [Iron Ore] in the first half of the year,” he added.
Production increased by 17% to 171 800 t for the third quarter, reflecting a continued strong performance across all operations and planned higher grades.
Production from Los Bronces increased by 23% to 95 800 t, driven by continued strong mine and plant performance and supported by significantly lower than usual winter snowfall and planned higher grades.
At Collahuasi, attributable production increased by 5% to 61 500 t, reflecting higher grades. The El Soldado mine increased its production by 33% to 14 500 t as a result of a combination of strong mine and plant performance and planned higher grades.
The three mines are all located in Chile.
Anglo’s full-year copper production guidance is unchanged at 630 000 t to 660 000 t.
Anglo’s Minas-Rio mine, in Brazil, did not produce any iron-ore during the third quarter, given the suspension of operations following two leaks in the iron-ore slurry pipeline in March.
Anglo reports that the pipeline inspection work is on track, as is the precautionary replacement of a 4 km section of the pipeline where the leaks occurred.
Both the inspection and replacement work are expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year, with a restart of operations subject to required clearance from the authorities.
“There is no change to the expected earnings impact of the pipeline incident from the guidance previously provided, with a 2018 loss of $300-million to $400-million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation.”
Full-year production guidance for Kumba, in South Africa, remains at between 43-million and 44-million tonnes, while guidance for Minas-Rio is unchanged at three-million tonnes, reflecting production delivered prior to the pipeline leaks.
Anglo’s Australian export metallurgical coal production decreased by 3% to 5.4-million tonnes, with the Grosvenor ramp-up offset by a longwall move at Moranbah, as well as anticipated challenging geological conditions at Grasstree and lower production at Dawson.
Anglo’s total thermal coal export production increased by 13% to 7.7-million tonnes, reflecting a solid operational improvements at Anglo’s coal assets.
Thermal Coal South Africa’s export thermal coal production increased by 16% to 5.1-million tonnes, following operational improvements.
South African domestic thermal coal production decreased by 68% to 2.7-million tonnes owing to the completion of the sale of State-owned utility Eskom-tied operations to Seriti Resources on March 1.
Meanwhile, Thermal Coal Colombia achieved a 6% increase in attributable export thermal coal production from Cerrejón to 2.7-million tonnes.
The full-year production guidance for metallurgical coal is unchanged at 20-million to 22-million tonnes, while the full-year production guidance for export thermal coal is unchanged from the second quarter revision of 28-million to 30-million tonnes.
Anglo’s nickel output increased by 3% to 11 500 t, driven by enhanced stability arising from operational improvements implemented at Barro Alto, in Brazil, during 2018.
Full-year production guidance is unchanged at 42 000 t to 44 000 t.
Manganese ore production increased by 6% to 887 600 t – a quarterly production record.
Manganese alloy production decreased by 7% to 34 800 t as a result of a planned maintenance shutdown of the furnace during the quarter.