Record Worsley Alumina production in solid South32 year

South32’s Worsley Alumina in Western Australia achieved record annual production in FY22, as total group copper equivalent production fell just short of current guidance.

The company reported that the majority of its operations were forced to deliver to revised plans, despite impacts from weather and labour availability caused by COVID.

FY22 operating unit costs are tipped to be in-line with previously updated guidance at the majority of our operations, with lower than anticipated producer currencies providing a benefit in the June 2022 quarter.

South32 chief executive officer Graham Kerr said the stable operating performance allowed the miner to capitalise on record conditions for a number of commodities, with strong sales in the June 2022 quarter capturing the benefit of high prices

“Worsley Alumina exceeded guidance and operated above nameplate capacity, as we realised the benefit of embedded improvement initiatives,” he said.

“Cannington in Queensland also beat previously upgraded FY22 zinc equivalent production guidance by 2 per cent, successfully transitioning to a 100 per cent truck haulage operation in the June 2022 quarter.”

Meanwhile, Illawarra Metallurgical Coal in NSW successfully completed three longwall moves across Appin and Dendrobium during the year, with strong price realisations for its premium quality hard coking coal supporting record pricing.

“We achieved further significant milestones as we reshape our portfolio towards the metals critical for a low carbon future. In May, we completed the acquisition of an additional shareholding in the hydro-powered Mozal aluminium smelter in Mozambique.

“We also completed our acquisition of an additional interest in the MRN bauxite mine and delivered first production from the restart of our Brazil aluminium smelter, powered by 100 per cent cost efficient renewable power.

“Our strong financial position and capital management framework, which is designed to reward our shareholders as our financial performance improves, supported further returns across the year via our on-market share buy-back, bringing total returns under our capital management program to US$1.9 billion since its inception.”

Editor of industrial titles and mastheads with Prime Creative Media. Publications include Rail Express and Australian Mining (web content).
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