JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Kumba Iron Ore produced 44.98-million tonnes of iron-ore in 2017, exceeding guidance.
Production was also 8% higher than the 41.48-million tonnes produced in 2016.
The miner on Thursday reported that the fourth quarter, ended December 31, had delivered continued strong quarter-on-quarter production of 11.64-million tonnes, compared with the 11.49-million tonnes produced in the third quarter.
This was, however, 2% lower than the 11.93-million tonnes produced in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Although the Sishen mine’s production decreased by 8% year-on-year to 7.8-million tonnes in the fourth quarter, production was in line with that of the first three quarters of the year.
“The higher production in the fourth quarter of 2016 was attributable to temporary access to low strip ratio ore and higher plant yields as per the mine plan,” Kumba explained.
Sishen’s production for the full year was, however, up by 10% to 31.12-million tonnes, compared with the 28.38-million tonnes produced in 2016.
Meanwhile, production at the Kolomela mine increased by 12% year-on-year to 3.9-million tonnes in the fourth quarter, as a result of productivity improvements.
For the full year, the mine produced 13.86-million tonnes, a 9% increase on the 12.73-million tonnes produced in 2016.
Kumba’s sales for the full-year were 6% higher year-on-year at 44.89-million tonnes. Export sales were up 7% year-on-year at 41.62-million tonnes, while domestic sales decreased by 4% year-on-year to 3.28-million tonnes.