JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Global miner Anglo American on Friday said successful project execution and asset optimisation delivered volume growth in its iron-ore, metallurgical coal, export thermal coal, copper and nickel divisions for the second quarter ended June, while diamonds and platinum performed weaker.
The company’s iron-ore production increased by 12% to 12.9-million tons, owing to output from it subsidiary Kumba Iron Ore increasing by 11% to 11.4-million tons, 13% above the 10.1-million tons achieved in the first quarter, while production improvements at its Amapá project, in Brazil, also contributed to the higher output.
Following the successful early commissioning in August 2011, Kolomela mine, in South Africa, continued to ramp up well, with 1.7-million tons produced during the quarter.
The company’s production results were published a day after it announced significant managerial shifts at its South African businesses triggered by the exiting of Anglo American Platinum CEO Neville Nicolau.
His departure will lead to new leadership for Kumba Iron Ore and the thermal coal unit.
Kumba CEO Chris Griffith, who would assume the position of Anglo American Platinum CEO, said on Friday that if the current ramp-up performance is sustained, the new Kolomela mine should produce at least six-million tons in 2012, and reach its nine-million-ton-a-year design capacity in 2013.
Metallurgical coal achieved a quarterly production record, with export production increasing by 23% to 4.8-million tons, benefiting from productivity improvements.
Meanwhile, copper production increased by 7% to 161 100 t, driven by the strong ramp-up of the company’s flagship Chilean Los Bronces mine’s expansion that was offset by lower grades, lower recoveries and adverse weather.
The mine’s expansion achieved 92% of nameplate capacity during the quarter.
Further, nickel production increased by 65% to 10 900 t, as production from the Barro Alto mine, in Brazil, continued to ramp up.
However, platinum-equivalent refined production was flat at 583 600 oz, while refined production was 623 000 oz, 3% less than that achieved in the first quarter of 2011. This was owing to the slower-than-expected ramp-up of a converter plant following planned maintenance.
Diamond production also decreased, falling 11% to 7.2-million carats. This was largely in response to market conditions, while Anglo American focussed on planned maintenance and waste stripping.
The interim results for the half year to June 20 would be announced on July 27.