Kumba on track to deliver full-year guidance
Mining News Pro - Anglo American subsidiary Kumba Iron Ore continued to achieve a good operational performance in the quarter ended September 30, demonstrating business resilience and a capacity to successfully adapt to working under Covid-19 conditions, CE Themba Mkhwanazi said on October 22.

“Our first priority is always the health, safety and wellbeing of our workforce and local communities, while ensuring that we maintain planned throughput throughout the value chain. The business continues to perform well in a favourable iron-ore price environment and we are on track to deliver full-year guidance,” he noted.

Kumba`s guidance, announced at its interim results presentation on July 28, takes into account Transnet’s yearly maintenance during October.

The guidance is for sales of 38-million to 40-million tonnes and production of 37-million to 39-million tonnes.

Kumba continued to focus on balancing its value chain, thereby ensuring that iron-ore deliveries meet market demand.

Kumba delivered a solid mining performance for the period, the company noted.

While total waste stripping of 58.8-million tonnes was 16% below the comparative period last year, it was ahead of both the first and the Covid-19-impacted second quarter of this year.

Overall, steady progress continued to be made with Kumba’s scheduled maintenance programme, and equipment performance has improved as a result, the company noted.

Waste stripping for the period at Sishen increased by 37% to 42.9-million tonnes, driven by primary equipment availability and a steady increase in direct operating hours.

At Kolomela, waste stripping increased by 20% to 15.9-million tonnes, following the optimisation of hauling routes, resulting in improved truck use.

Production is managed carefully in conjunction with finished stock levels to optimise Kumba’s value chain.

Taking into account the higher levels of finished stock in the second quarter owing to Covid-19-related logistical constraints, and the yearly rail and port maintenance taking place in the fourth quarter, Kumba said it drew down on stock levels during the period.

Finished stock reduced by 900 000 t to 5.3-million tonnes from June 30.

Production decreased by one-million tonnes, or 9%, to 9.5-million tonnes in the comparative period last year and increased by 12% relative to the previous quarter.

The successful outcome of Covid-19 measures and initiatives to increase workforce capacity at Transnet resulted in the iron-ore export channel haulage rates returning to pre-Covid levels. Consequently, there was a significant improvement in throughput at the Saldanha port.

Export sales increased by 13% to 10.9-million tonnes from the comparative period last year, and by 35% from the previous quarter.

In line with expectations, there was no offtake from ArcelorMittal South Africa during the period.

China’s strong economic rebound continued to support a favourable iron-ore market, said Kumba.

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