Africa|Botswana|Coal|Copper|Infrastructure|Iron Ore|Logistics|Platinum|rail|Underground|Infrastructure|Operations
Africa|Botswana|Coal|Copper|Infrastructure|Iron Ore|Logistics|Platinum|rail|Underground|Infrastructure|Operations

Anglo’s fourth-quarter production in line with expectations despite rail constraints

An image of Anglo American CE Duncan Wanblad

Duncan Wanblad

8th February 2024

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online


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Diversified miner Anglo American’s production for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2023, was in line with expectations and in line with production in the third quarter, despite the deliberate slowdown at its South African iron-ore operations to help draw down stock levels in response to poor third-party rail performance, CE Duncan Wanblad says.

The group’s Quellaveco mine, in Peru, delivered its strongest quarter yet, having produced 93 700 t of copper, while the Minas-Rio iron-ore operation, in Brazil, also delivered its highest-ever quarterly volume of 6.6-million tonnes of premium high-grade iron-ore, he points out.

Compared with the same period in 2022, fourth-quarter volumes reduced by 7%, primarily owing to the planned reduction by Kumba Iron Ore, in South Africa, and the current unfavourable ore phase at the Los Bronces copper and molybdenum mine, in Chile.

“Looking ahead, our deliberate prioritisation of value over volume is designed to improve margins and returns. We are committed to safely delivering a consistent production performance in a streamlined and more effective organisation with significantly lower costs and capital requirements and that is more resilient through the cycle.

“We are implementing the right actions to enhance value now and for the longer term, and will continue to do so. We see significant value upside from operational resilience, reducing complexity and from the growth opportunities presented by the high quality of our resource endowments and the major demand trends,” Wanblad says.

As noted, Minas-Rio had a record quarterly performance, with production 15% higher year-on-year.

However, this was more than offset by a planned slowdown in Kumba's production to align with third-party logistics constraints, resulting in an overall decrease in iron-ore production of 12%.

Nickel production increased by 9%, reflecting improved operational stability.

Steelmaking coal production increased by 2%, reflecting steady performance at the Aquila operation and improved performance at Grosvenor, partly offset by ongoing challenging strata conditions at Moranbah – all in Australia.

Copper production decreased by 6%, as a 16% decrease in Chile’s production was primarily driven by Los Bronces (expected lower grade and harder ore), which more than offset higher production from Quellaveco, in Peru.

Production from Anglo’s South African platinum group metals (PGMs) operations for the fourth quarter of 2023 was 6% lower, mainly owing to the planned ramp-down of operations at South African operations – Kroondal (now sold) and lower production at Amandelbult owing to planned infrastructure closures.

Rough diamond production decreased by 3%, primarily owing to the planned reduction at the Venetia mine, in South Africa, transitions to underground operations, partly offset by higher production from Botswana. 

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




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