Diversified miner Anglo American has reported a year-on-year improvement in the production of nearly all its commodities – except for platinum group metals (PGMs) and nickel – for the fourth quarter of 2022.
CE Duncan Wanblad says overall production increased by 10% year-on-year, driven by the ongoing ramp-up of the Quellaveco copper mine, in Peru, which produced 80 000 t of copper in the quarter under review.
He adds that the company’s steelmaking coal operations also contributed to higher output by having all three of the longwall operations running.
Anglo also saw higher rough diamond production from diamond subsidiary De Beers and improved operational performance at the iron-ore businesses.
Diamond production increased by 6% to 8.2-million carats in the quarter under review, compared with 7.7-million carats in the corresponding quarter of 2021, while total yearly diamond production increased by 7% to 34.6-million carats in 2022, compared with 32.3-million carats in 2021.
Copper production increased by 52% to 244 000 t in the reporting quarter, compared with 161 000 t of copper produced in the prior comparable quarter, and by 3% to 664 000 t in 2022, compared with the 647 000 t produced in 2021.
Nickel production declined by 4% in the quarter under review to 10 200 t, compared with 10 600 t of nickel produced in the corresponding quarter, and decreased by 5% to 39 800 t in 2022, compared with the 41 700 t of nickel produced in 2021.
Metals in concentrate PGM production declined by 10% to 990 000 oz in the reporting period, compared with the 1.1-million ounces produced in the prior comparable period, while also decreasing by 6% to four-million ounces in 2022, compared with 4.2-million ounces produced in 2021.
Iron-ore output increased by 4% in the quarter under review to 15.7-million tonnes, compared with 15.1-million tonnes produced in the same quarter of last year; however, full-year production decreased by 7% to 59.3-million tonnes, compared with the 63.8-million tonnes produced in 2021.
Steelmaking coal was 6% higher at 4.6-million tonnes, compared with 4.4-million tonnes in the prior comparable quarter, while full-year production came in at 1% higher at 15-million tonnes, compared with 14.9-million tonnes in 2021.
Anglo further reports that manganese ore production of 984 000 t was 18% higher in the quarter under review, compared with the 835 000 t produced in the corresponding quarter, and 2% higher at 3.7-million tonnes for the full-year, compared with the 3.6-million tonnes produced in 2021.
Some of the company’s highlights in the fourth quarter of last year include securing 100% renewable electricity supply for its operations in Australia from 2025, effectively eliminating all Scope 2 emissions for the steelmaking coal business.
Additionally, the company concluded Phase 1 of an integrated water project at the Los Bronces copper operation, in Chile, which secures desalinated water for more than 45% of the mine’s needs from 2025, while also providing clean water for local communities.
Exploration and evaluation expenditure totalled $112-million in the quarter under review, which was 10% higher than the comparable quarter of 2021.
The group has set its guidance for 2023 at 30-million to 33-million carats of diamonds; 840 000 t to 930 000 t of copper; 38 000 t to 40 000 t of nickel; 3.6-million to 4-million ounces of PGMs; 57-million to 61-million tonnes of iron-ore; and 16-million to 19-million tonnes of steelmaking coal.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
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