Anglo American 4Q18 production report

Thursday, January 24, 2019

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Anglo American reports a 7% increase in total production on a copper equivalent basis for the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to the same period in 2017, excluding the effect of the stoppage at Minas-Rio(1).

Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of Anglo American, said: "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."


  • De Beers production increased by 12% to 9.1 million carats due to production increases at Orapa.
  • Copper production increased by 23% to 183,500 tonnes, with increases at all operations, reflecting continued strong operational performance and planned higher grades.
  • Platinum and palladium production both increased by 3% to 602,300 ounces and 386,600 ounces respectively, driven by an improved operational performance across the majority of the portfolio.
  • Kumba's iron ore production decreased by 13% to 10.2 million tonnes due to infrastructure constraints.
  • Metallurgical coal production increased by 15% to 5.6 million tonnes driven by productivity improvements at Moranbah and the continued Grosvenor ramp up.
  • Thermal coal export production decreased by 9% to 6.9 million tonnes due to the impact of rain at Cerrejón.
  • Minas-Rio restarted operations at the end of the quarter and also received a key approval relating to the important Step 3 licence area.

Production Summary

Q4 2018Q4 2017% vs. Q4 201720182017% vs. 2017
Diamonds (Mct)(2)9.18.112%35.333.56%
Copper (kt)(3)18414923%66857915%
Platinum (koz)(4)6025873%2,4852,3974%
Palladium (koz)(4)3873753%1,6111,5573%
Iron ore - Kumba (Mt)10.211.6(13)%43.145.0(4)%
Iron ore - Minas-Rio (Mt)(5)0.24.0(94)%3.416.8(80)%
Metallurgical coal (Mt)5.64.915%21.819.711%
Thermal coal (Mt)(6)6.97.6(9)%28.629.2(2)%
Nickel (kt)(7)11.411.40%42.343.8(3)%
Manganese ore (kt)972980(1)%3,6073,4863%


Copper production increased by 23% to 183,500 tonnes, the highest since Q4 2013, with production increases at all operations and record copper in concentrate production at Collahuasi. Production from Los Bronces increased by 31% to 99,000 tonnes, driven by continued strong mine and plant performance and planned higher grades (0.81% vs. 0.76%). At Collahuasi, attributable production increased by 9% to 69,200 tonnes reflecting higher copper recoveries driven by the successful installation of 24 additional flotation cells in Q3. El Soldado production increased by 58% to 15,300 tonnes due to a combination of strong mine and plant performance and planned higher grades (0.94% vs 0.65%). Full year sales volumes were 671,600 tonnes, at an average price of 283c/lb ($6,239/t), lower than the average LME price of 296c/lb ($6,526/t) due to the impact of provisional pricing.

2019 Guidance

2019 production guidance is 630,000-660,000 tonnes.


Kumba - Production volumes for the quarter decreased by 13% to 10.2 million tonnes as planned to offset elevated stock levels at the mines resulting from Transnet rail constraints. Plant yields remained slightly lower, in line with the strategy of producing higher quality products, to maximise the value of tonnes railed to port and to benefit from the strong demand for high-grade ore. As a result, full year production of 43.1 million tonnes was at the lower end of the guidance range. Sishen's production decreased by 11% to 7.0 million tonnes, while waste stripping increased by 19% to 51 million tonnes. Kolomela's production decreased by 17% to 3.2 million tonnes of ore, while waste remained flat at 14 million tonnes. Export sales decreased by 6% to 10.7 million tonnes due to reduced loading capacity following the scheduled six-week refurbishment of a ship loader by Transnet at Saldanha Port, as well as the temporary closure of the export rail line due to a truck colliding with a railway bridge. Total finished product stocks decreased from 6.6 million tonnes at 30 September 2018 to 5.3 million tonnes at 31 December 2018. In fourth quarter and full year 2018 the ratio of lump:fines in Kumba product was approximately 68:32.

Minas-Rio - Production was 0.2 million tonnes in Q4 2018 following the resumption of operations after the receipt of the appropriate regulatory approvals on 20 December 2018, following an extensive and detailed technical inspection and the precautionary replacement of certain sections of the pipeline. Production had been suspended since March 2018 following the discovery of two leakages in the 529-kilometre iron ore pipeline from the mine to the Port of Açu.

2019 Guidance

2019 production guidance for Kumba is 43-44 million tonnes. 2019 production guidance for Minas-Rio is 18-20 million tonnes (wet basis). A key regulatory approval relating to the Minas-Rio Step 3 licence area was granted on 21 December 2018, providing greater operational flexibility and access to higher grade iron ore to support the increase of production towards the full design capacity of 26.5 million tonnes per year. As a result, 2019 production guidance for Minas-Rio was increased to 18-20 million tonnes (previously 16-19 million tonnes). In addition, 2019 unit cost guidance was reduced to $28-31 per tonne (previously $30-33 per tonne)