Anglo American PLC (LON:AAL) reported second half production was back up to 95% of rates from 2019 thanks to strong output of copper and iron ore.

Copper production in the fourth quarter of 168 kilotonnes (kt) was up 6% on the same period last year and up from 166kt in the third quarter, with full-year production up 1% year-on-year.

In iron ore, 16mln tonnes of production in the quarter was down 11% on last year but up from the 9.5Mt in the third quarter thanks to record production from Minas-Rio in Brazil. Full year production of 61.1Mt was down 7% year-on-year.  

Diamond production was down 14% on the quarter and 18% on the year, platinum group metals were down 7% on the quarter and 14% on the year, while coal was the worst performer amid suspension of operations at the Grosvenor metallurgical coal mine.

“As we begin 2021, we are continuing to see positive demand for rough diamonds, supported by consumer demand for diamond jewellery in the holiday selling season,” said chief executive Mark Cutifani.

“While it is still too early to signal a strong and sustained recovery, the resilience in demand in spite of ongoing Covid-19 impacts is very encouraging.”

He said while many countries are suffering from new waves of Covid-19 infections, the company was keeping production going by employing “extensive health measures and revised operating procedures”.

Outlook guidance remained for 640-680 kt of copper and 64-67 Mt of iron ore, but diamonds guidance was cut to 32-34mln carats from 33-35 Mct previously.

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