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Anglo American’s second-quarter output rises 2%, Minas Rio ramps up

Anglo American on Thursday said the ramp-up of iron ore at Minas Rio in Brazil and higher volumes of coking coal had offset reduced diamond production, raising second-quarter output by 2% and keeping the company on track to meet its 2019 targets.

Prices of iron ore, used with coking coal to make steel, have outperformed other base metals, reaching five-year highs, after a Vale dam disaster in Brazil led to production shut-ins.

CEO Mark Cutifani said Anglo American’s production had been boosted following the ramp-up of Minas Rio and a strong performance from coking coal after plant upgrade work in the first quarter.

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“We remain broadly on track overall to deliver this full year’s production targets,” he said in a statement.

De Beers’ diamond production fell by 14% year on year as work goes on at Venetia in South Africa to move to underground mining from open pit and against a backdrop of weaker demand.

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Citing “prevailing market conditions,” Cutifani said De Beers will continue to produce in response to demand for the year.

Copper production increased by 1% and platinum rose 3% year on year.

Minas Rio’s iron ore production climbed to 5.9 million tonnes. Anglo American restarted operations there in December after receiving regulatory approval to step up production following a prolonged outage because of a leak.

Metallurgical, or coking, coal production increased by 11% following site improvements, while thermal coal, used for power, fell by 8% because of a lack of water.

Updated:

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