Anglo American boosts Australian coal production

Anglo American has increased production at its Australian metallurgical coal operations during the December 2019 quarter, helping to balance lower copper production at its Chilean sites.

The company’s metallurgical coal production jumped 11 per cent for the quarter against the corresponding period of 2018 to 6.3 million tonnes.

This increase was primarily due to the timing of longwall moves at the Grosvenor mine and the Grasstree site, both in Queensland, according to Anglo American.

The company also noted improvements in wash plant throughput at the Moranbah-Grosvenor operations and equipment productivity at the Dawson mine in central Queensland.

Anglo American’s metallurgical coal guidance for 2020 is unchanged at 21-23 million tonnes, reflecting the sale of a 12 per cent interest in the Grosvenor mine this year.

As Chile continues to face its worst drought in 60 years, Anglo American’s Los Bronces copper production fell by 28 per cent to 71,700 tonnes for the December quarter, compared with 99,000 at the same time in December 2018.

“We have delivered our full year production targets across the business,” Anglo American chief executive officer Mark Cutifani said.

“Increased production (of) metallurgical coal in Australia was offset by the drought in Chile impacting water availability at Los Bronces.”

Platinum and palladium production at the company’s South African mines both increased by 10 per cent to 531,700 ounces and 360,400 ounces respectively.

Anglo American’s South African iron ore production was also on the rise during the quarter, with total production volume increasing by 16 per cent to 11.8 million tonnes, thanks to higher production at the Sishen and Kolomela mines.

Lower rough diamond production in South Africa and Botswana saw the company’s production decrease by 15 per cent to 7.8 million carats, from 9.1 million in the 2018 December quarter.

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