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Anglo American Production Fell as Expected on Lower Copper, Iron Ore Output — Commodity Comment -February 08, 2024 at 04:01 am EST

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By Christian Moess Laursen

Anglo America’s overall production fell 7% in the fourth quarter as expected, in large driven by a planned slowdown at its iron ore operations as well as on one of its main copper mines going through unfavorable ore phase. The diversified mining giant said it still sees a 4% decline in output in 2024, and backed full-year guidance for all assets, as set out in December. Here’s what the company had to say.

On copper:

“Copper production decreased by 6%: a 16% decrease in Chile’s production was primarily driven by Los Bronces–expected lower grade and harder ore–which more than offset higher production from Quellaveco in Peru.”

“Quellaveco production increased by 14% to 93,700 tons, the highest production in a quarter, reflecting higher throughput and production levels since the plant reached commercial production in June 2023.”

“Production from Los Bronces decreased by 32% to 57,200 tons, primarily driven by expected lower grades and throughput due to continued ore hardness.”

“These unfavorable ore characteristics in the current mining area will continue to impact operations until the next phase of the mine, where the grades are expected to be higher and the ore softer.”

“At Collahuasi [in Chile], attributable production increased by 14% to 71,700 tons.”

“Production from El Soldado [in Chile] decreased by 52% to 7,300 tons.”

On iron ore:

“Iron ore production decreased by 12% to 13.8 million tons, reflecting a 27% decrease at Kumba [in South Africa] due to a planned slowdown in production to align with third-party logistics constraints, partly offset by a 15% increase at Minas-Rio [in Brazil] due to a record quarterly performance.”

“Minas-Rio had a record quarterly performance, increasing production by 15% compared to 4Q 2022.”

On platinum group metals:

“Production from our PGMs operations was 6% lower, mainly due to the planned ramp-down of operations at Kroondal–now sold–and lower production at Amandelbult [both in South Africa] due to planned infrastructure closures.”

“Production at Amandelbult decreased by 15% to 149,900 ounces”

“These were partly offset by a 17% increase in production at Unki [in Zimbabwe] to 61,800 ounces, driven by increased throughput and higher grade, as well as a 3% increase at Mogalakwena [in South Africa] to 265,300 ounces, as mining moved into a higher grade, lower waste area.”

On diamonds:

“Rough diamond production decreased by 3%, primarily due to the planned reduction as Venetia [in South Africa] transitions to underground operations, partly offset by higher production from Botswana.”

Production in Botswana increased by 6% to 6.1 million carats, while decreasing in Namibia by 4% to 0.6 million carats, as well as in South Africa by 54% to 0.4 million carats and in Canada by 3% to 0.8 million carats, the miner said.

On steelmaking coal:

“Steelmaking coal production increased by 2% to 4.8 million ton, primarily driven by steady performance at the Aquila underground longwall operation and improved performance at Grosvenor amid difficult operating conditions, partly offset by ongoing challenging strata conditions at Moranbah [all three operations are in Australia].”

“The steelmaking coal full-year 2023 unit cost of $121 per ton was $6 per ton above guidance due to lower than expected production from the higher fixed cost underground operation at Moranbah.”

On nickel:

“Nickel production increased by 9% to 11,100 tons, reflecting improved operational stability.”

On manganese:

“Manganese ore production decreased by 14% to 847,800 tons, driven by lower yields at the Australian operation, and lower productivity at the South African operations.”

Write to Christian Moess Laursen at christian.moess@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

02-08-24 0400ET

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