Anglo American delivers on FY 2019 targets despite water shortages in Chile

Anglo American has reported a 4% rise in total production for the final quarter of 2019, despite a severe drought in Chile pulling back copper production in the last three months of the year.

Output from its flagship Los Bronces mine plummeted by 28%, which pulled the group’s overall copper production down around 13% to 159,000 tonnes in Q4.

However, the mining giant delivered a strong performance at its Minas-Rio iron ore mine in Brazil, which helped offset the copper shortage, as did an 11% increase in coal production.

Anglo produced 6.2 million tonnes (Mt) of iron ore at Minas-Rio in Q4 after it received the final operating licence it needs to boost production at the mine to its full capacity of 26.5 Mt a year.

Chief executive Mark Cutifani said: “We have delivered our full year production targets across the business.”

While affected by the ongoing water shortages in Chile, Anglo was relatively unperturbed by extensive protests in the South American country back in October. The firm also managed to limit damage from Australia’s bushfires, which dented coal production in its rivals in Q4.

Earlier this week the company agreed to acquire UK miner Sirius Minerals for £405 million, marking its entry into the potash market.