Anglo American (LON:AAL) released a production report on Thursday for the fourth quarter ended 31 December. Copper and Diamond production are expected to decline in 2019.
Total production on a copper equivalent basis for the fourth-quarter of 2018 increased by 7%. This figure is compared to the same period in 2017 and excludes the effect of the stoppage at Minas-Rio.
Chief Executive of Anglo American, Mark Cutifani, commented on the announcement:
“Our continuing focus on efficiency and productivity improvements across the business resulted in another strong quarter, adding to our consistent track record of delivery. Solid operational performance resulted in a 23% increase in production from our Copper business, more than offsetting the impact of infrastructure constraints at Kumba. We ended this successful quarter with the restart of operations at Minas-Rio and receipt of a key approval relating to the important Step 3 licence area that supports its increase in production towards design capacity.”
Da Beers production increased by 12% to 9.1 million caratas and driven by production increases at Orapa. Additionally, copper production increased by 23% to 183,000 tonnes. Increases occurred across all operations and reflect a strong operational performance.
In July, Anglo American began to develop the “world-class Quellaveco copper project in Peru”.
Platinum and palladium production increased by 3% to 602,300 ounces and 386,000 ounces respectively. However, Kumba’s iron ore production decreased by 13% to 10.2 million tonnes, as a result of infrastructure issues.
Metallurgical coal production increased by 15% to 5.6 million tonnes. But, Thermal coal export production decreased by 9% to 6.9 million tonnes as a result of unfavourable weather.
Minas-Rio recommenced its operations at the end of the quarter.
Anglo American has predicted that diamond, copper and platinum production in 2019 will be below that of the year prior.
Diamond production is expected in the range of 31 million to 33 million carats for 2019. This is below the 35.2 million carats reported the year prior. Equally, copper production was expected to be between 630,000 to 660,000 tones, below the 668,300 seen this year. Platinum production was also reduced to 2.0 million to 2.1 million ounces in 2019, revised from the 2.0 million to 2.2 million ounces previously.
At 09:17 GMT today, shares in Anglo American plc (LON:AAL) were trading at -0.3%.