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Anglo American posts strong fourth quarter results - copper production ramps 23%

Anglo American ends 2018 on a high with overall output rising 7%

Anglo American’s fourth quarter results enabled the global miner to end 2018 on a high with overall output rising 7%. 

Operational changes boosted efficiency across the business. Copper was the standout success reaching a five-year high with increased production hitting 23%.

Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of Anglo American, commented: “Our continuing focus on efficiency and productivity improvements across the business resulted in another strong quarter, adding to our consistent track record of delivery. Solid operational performance resulted in a 23% increase in production from our Copper business, more than offsetting the impact of infrastructure constraints at Kumba. 

“We ended this successful quarter with the restart of operations at Minas-Rio and receipt of a key approval relating to the important Step 3 licence area that supports its increase in production towards design capacity.”

Highlights for 2018

  • De Beers production increased by 12% to 9.1 million carats due to production increases at Orapa.
  • Copper production increased by 23% to 183,500 tonnes, with increases at all operations, reflecting continued strong operational performance and planned higher grades.
  • Platinum and palladium production both increased by 3% to 602,300 ounces and 386,600 ounces respectively, driven by an improved operational performance across the majority of the portfolio.
  • Kumba’s iron ore production decreased by 13% to 10.2 million tonnes due to infrastructure constraints.
  • Metallurgical coal production increased by 15% to 5.6 million tonnes driven by productivity improvements at Moranbah and the continued Grosvenor ramp up.
  • Thermal coal export production decreased by 9% to 6.9 million tonnes due to the impact of rain at Cerrejón.
  • Minas-Rio restarted operations at the end of the quarter and also received a key approval relating to the important Step 3 licence area.

Related stories:

Anglo American restarts iron-ore operation at Minas-Rio, Brazil

Anglo American predicts 3% ramp in production for 2019

Mitsubishi Corporation increases interest in Anglo American copper project for $600million

Anglo American is laying the foundations for continued growth with its Quellaveco Copper Project in Peru. It has developed the project with Mitsubishi with first production of copper expected in 2022, before ramping up to full production in 2023. 

During the first ten years of full production Quellaveco is expected to produce approximately 300,000 tonnes per year.

Speaking about the project last year Cutifani said: “This is an exciting moment for Anglo American. The approval of Quellaveco is an important step in delivering the full potential of our world class asset portfolio, with an expected project ROCE in excess of 20%, and we look forward to working responsibly with all our stakeholders to make it a reality.”