Anglo American, a diversified mining company, has reported a 4% rise in overall production in the third quarter. This increase is mainly attributed to a significant jump of 42% in copper production. The company has also seen improvements in its steelmaking coal operations and platinum group metals business.
Copper Production Update
Copper production has witnessed a substantial increase of 42%. The rise in production is primarily due to the progressive increase in output from the Quellaveco mine in Peru. However, the company’s operations in Chile experienced a 4% decrease in copper production.
The decrease in copper production from Chile can be attributed to ongoing challenges related to ore hardness and an unfortunate incident of an electrical substation fire at Los Bronces mine. As a result, the company had to revise its guidance for its operations in Chile. Production from Los Bronces mine decreased by 20% to 45,800 metric tons. This decline was mainly driven by lower grades (0.49% compared to 0.58%) and reduced throughput. The interruption of power supply caused by the electrical substation fire lasted for 16 days.
On the other hand, Collahuasi mine in Chile experienced a positive outcome with a 9% increase in attributable copper production, reaching 66,100 tons. This surge can be attributed to planned mining activities resulting in higher grades (1.19% compared to 1.08%) and improved throughput following plant maintenance in the second quarter of 2023. The El Soldado mine in Chile also witnessed a 5% increase in production, reaching 9,700 tons. This growth is due to the benefits of mining in a higher grade area.
Platinum Group Metals Update
The platinum group metals operations maintained a relatively stable production level, despite planned mining in a lower grade area at the Mogalakwena mine in South Africa. The company’s own mined production of platinum group metals decreased by 3% to 665,800 ounces, primarily due to lower output from both the Mogalakwena and Amandelbult mines in South Africa.
Anglo American remains focused on improving its production and operations across different minerals and metals, ensuring sustainable growth and contributing to the global mining industry.
Production at Mogalakwena decreased by 5% to 246,800 ounces. This decline can be attributed to mining in a planned lower grade area.
Production at Amandelbult also experienced a decrease of 4% to 184,900 ounces. The decline was due to continued poor ground conditions.
However, joint operations saw a 2% increase in production, reaching 97,500 ounces. This growth was mainly driven by improved grade at the Modikwa mine in South Africa.
Rough diamond production witnessed a significant decrease of 23% to 7.4 million carats. This decline was primarily due to the planned reduction in South Africa as Venetia transitions to underground operations and begins the ramp-up of production, as well as planned maintenance in Botswana.
Iron Ore Production
Iron ore production experienced a 4% decrease, amounting to 15.4 million tons. This decrease was driven by a 7% reduction at the Minas-Rio mine in Brazil, resulting from planned plant maintenance. Additionally, there was a 2% decrease at the Kumba mine in South Africa.
Nickel production decreased by 7%, mainly reflecting the impact of lower grades. The total nickel production amounted to 9,300 tons. This decline was primarily due to lower grades and planned maintenance at the Barro Alto mine in Brazil. Despite this decrease, there were operational improvements at the Codemin mine in Brazil.
Steelmaking Coal Production
Steelmaking coal production saw a notable decrease of 21%. This decline was driven by challenging strata conditions at the Moranbah mine and the ramp-up of operations at the Grosvenor mines in Australia following the longwall move in 2Q.
Manganese Ore Production
Manganese ore production, on the other hand, increased by 4% to 1,012,100 tons. This growth was attributed to improved mining performance and equipment reliability at the South African operations.
The revised production guidance for copper in 2023 is set between 830,000-870,000 tons, which was adjusted from the previous range of 840,000-930,000 tons.
Specifically, Chile’s revised guidance stands at approximately 520,000 tons (previously 530,000-580,000 tons) due to unfavorable ore characteristics and an electrical substation fire at Los Bronces. Peru’s guidance remains unchanged at 310,000-350,000 tons.