Anglo American: Production 'broadly on track' despite De Beers diamond drop

Supplied by Anglo-American.
Supplied by Anglo-American.

De Beers diamond production decreased 14% in the three months to end September, Anglo American [JSE:AGL] said on Tuesday, as it delivered its production report for Q3 2019.

The mining company said diamond production had dropped to 7.4 million carats, mostly due to planned mine closures and a transition at Venetia to underground. 

Copper production also took a hit, falling 8% to 158 000 tonnes due to an ongoing drought in Chile, which impacted Los Bronces.

 Platinum and palladium production were broadly unchanged at 526 800 ounces and 351 800 ounces respectively, a statement from Anglo American said. 

However, production had increased overall and the company remains "broadly on track", said chief executive Mark Cutifani. 

"Production is up 4% for the quarter, driven by the continued successful ramp-up at Minas-Rio and strong performance at metallurgical coal," Cutifani said.

"De Beers production is lower, as expected, with Victor mine now at the end of its life and the transition of Venetia to underground. We remain broadly on track to deliver within our full year production targets, with an increase in production guidance at Minas-Rio.

"We expect to deliver to our production guidance for copper and thermal coal, albeit at the lower end of their ranges; with copper working to mitigate the effect of drought conditions in central Chile."

According to the statement, metallurgical coal production increased by 22% to 6.6 million tonnes due to improved wash plant throughput and equipment efficiency, as well as the timing of longwall moves.

Kumba's iron ore production was unchanged at 10.5 million tonnes, as increased production at Sishen was offset by lower production at Kolomela due to a plant upgrade, the company said. Minas-Rio's strong operational performance continued as iron ore production reached 6.1 million tonnes.

Compiled by Khulekani Magubane

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