Anglo American`s third-quarter production recovers from Covid-19 impact
Mining News Pro - Diversified mining group Anglo American has posted a 24% increase in production in the third quarter, compared with the second quarter of the year, while operating at 95% of normal capacity across its subsidiaries’ operations in regions including Canada, South Africa, Australia, Finland and South America.

Compared with the third quarter of last year, however, the diversified miner recorded a 3% decrease in production, owing to planned maintenance at the Minas-Rio iron-ore mine, in Brazil, and as a result of the suspended Grosvenor coal operation, in Australia.

A strong performance from the Collahuasi copper mine, in Chile, helped mitigate the overall year-on-year production decrease. The mine’s output increased by 17% year-on-year to almost 76 000 t, at higher recovery rates and grades.

The company did, however, lower its yearly production guidance for copper to between 630 000 t and 660 000 t, from the previous guidance of between 620 000 t and 670 000 t, owing to planned lower ore grades at the El Soldado mine, in Chile, and in case there is further Covid-19-related disruption.

Anglo reported a 4% year-on-year decrease in diamond output to 7.2-million carats; a 4% increase in copper output to 166 000 t; a 2% decrease in platinum output to 517 000 oz; stable palladium output of 352 000 oz; and a 10% decrease in nickel output to 10 200 t.

Further, the company recorded a 9% year-on-year decline in iron-ore output from its Kumba Iron Ore subsidiary to 9.5-million tonnes, as well as an 18% decline year-on-year from its Minas-Rio iron-ore operation to five-million tonnes.

This while metallurgical coal output decreased by 26% year-on-year to 4.8-million tonnes, thermal coal output decreased by 11% to 5.6-million tonnes and manganese output decreased by 3% to 939 000 t.

Anglo has increased its production guidance for platinum to between 1.7-million and 1.8-million ounces for the year, from the previous guidance of 1.5-million to 1.7-million ounces, while its diamond production guidance remains unchanged at between 25-million and 27-million carats.

Guidance for Kumba’s iron-ore production and Minas-Rio’s iron-ore production remain unchanged at between 37-million and 39-million tonnes, and 22-million and 24-million tonnes, respectively.

Production guidance for metallurgical coal has remained the same at between 16-million and 18-million tonnes, while the yearly production guidance for thermal coal has been revised down to 19-million tonnes, from the original 21-million tonnes target, owing to ongoing strike disruption in Colombia.

The company’s nickel guidance for the year also remains unchanged at between 42 000 t and 44 000 t.

Meanwhile, Anglo has advised that it is taking a cautious approach to remobilisation of workers at the developing Quellaveco project, in Peru, owing to the country having experienced an increase in Covid-19 infection rates during the third quarter.

The company expects its full productivity on site to recover only later this year or early next. First production from this copper project is still expected in 2022.