South32 reports a record-breaking financial year with year-on-year growth in production across a range of commodities.
Aluminium production increased by 14 per cent in the 2023 financial year, thanks mostly to Hillside aluminium achieving record production, and South32’s investments in low-carbon aluminium capacity at its Mozambique and Brazil operations.
Alumina production declined four per cent owing to temporary refinery outages in the June quarter. The refineries have since returned to nameplate production rates.
The production of base metals increased by 17 per cent for the financial year, with copper production increasing nine per cent in the June 2023 quarter alone.
Manganese production from Australian and South Africa achieved annual production records, delivering a 4 per cent increase in the 2023 financial year.
At South32’s Illawarra operations, the site was a 21 per cent increase in the production of metallurgical coal for the June quarter.
“We had a strong finish to the year,” said South32 chief executive officer Graham Kerr said.
“We maintained our disciplined track record of capital allocation, returning a record US$1.2B (A$1.78 billion) to shareholders in the 2023 financial year while continuing to invest in our high-quality growth options.
“Looking forward, we are well placed to continue to capitalise on the global energy transition. We expect to deliver further production growth in aluminium and base metals in FY24, and our high-quality development options have the potential to further strengthen our long-term supply of critical minerals.”