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Diamonds and iron ore lead production uplifts at Anglo American

By Josh White

Date: Thursday 21 Oct 2021

Diamonds and iron ore lead production uplifts at Anglo American

(Sharecast News) - Anglo American reported a 28% improvement in rough diamond production in the third quarter on Thursday, primarily from the Jwaneng and Venetia mines, which the board said reflected planned higher production in response to the ongoing recovery in consumer demand, led by the key United States and China markets.
The FTSE 100 mining giant said copper production, meanwhile, decreased 6% year-on-year due to planned maintenance at Collahuasi, while total year-to-date production across all copper operations was marginally ahead by 1% despite ongoing water availability constraints caused by record drought conditions in Chile.

Its platinum group metals (PGM) operations delivered a 39% increase in refined output, reflecting stable performance from the ACP phase A unit.

Iron ore production was 15% higher, driven primarily by a 22% uplift from Minas-Rio, reflecting the planned maintenance period in the third quarter of last year for routine internal scanning of the pipeline.

Anglo American said Kumba production also performed strongly, increasing by 11% due to improved plant performance.

At the company's longwall metallurgical coal operations in Australia, Moranbah had steadily improved as it mined through "challenging" geological zones in the quarter, while development work at Grosvenor continued to progress, with longwall mining expected to restart towards the end of the year.

Finally, primary nickel production increased 2% over the period, and by-product nickel from its PGM business increased by 20%, to 6,000 tonnes.

"Production is up 2% compared to the third quarter of last year, with our operating levels generally maintained at approximately 95% of normal capacity," said chief executive officer Mark Cutifani.

"The increase in production is led by planned higher rough diamond production at De Beers, increased production from our Minas-Rio iron ore operation in Brazil, reflecting the planned pipeline maintenance in the third quarter of 2020, and improved plant performance at our Kumba iron ore operations in South Africa."

Cutifani said the company was "broadly on track" to deliver its full-year production guidance across all products, while "tightening up" the guidance for diamonds, copper and iron ore within its current range as the end of the year approached.

"Our copper operations in Chile continue to work hard on mitigating the risk of water availability due to the challenges presented by the longest drought on record for the region, including through sourcing water that is not suitable for use elsewhere and further increasing water recycling."

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