Overall production down by 9% in Q2, Anglo American reports

Anglo American has this morning posted a weaker production performance for the second quarter of the year, contributing to a lower half-year performance across a range of minerals and metals.

The London-listed mining giant reported a 9% fall in Q2 output, which can be attributed to lower copper grades and lack of water availability in Chile, a ramp-up of the Aquila longwall in steelmaking coal as well as planned maintenance at the Minas-Rio iron ore mine in Brazil.

For the six months ending June 30, Anglo’s copper output fell by 17% to 273,000 tonnes from 330,000 tonnes the same period a year before, as the Los Bronces and El Soldado mines hit lower grades and Chile’s ongoing drought impacted operations.

The company’s steelmaking coal production fell 22% year-on-year to 4.8 million tonnes from 6.2 million tonnes in the first half, while total platinum groups metals (PGM) output dropped 4.3% to 1.99 million ounces from 2.08 million ounces.

Iron ore production from Minas-Rio in Brazil also decreased by 15% to 9.8 million tonnes from 11.5 million tonnes and Kumba Iron Ore – Anglo’s South African subsidiary – posted a 13% fall in iron ore output to 17.8 million tonnes from 20.4 million tonnes.

The only bright spot for Anglo was its diamond producing division. De Beers yielded a 10% rise in diamonds from 15.4 million carats to 16.9 million carats. Rising demand from non-conflict zones has even caused Anglo to increase its FY diamond production guidance.

“[A] Combination of sanctions against Russia, decisions from a number of US-based jewellery businesses to apply their own restrictions on purchases of Russian diamonds…has the potential to underpin continued robust demand for De Beers’ rough diamonds,” the miner said.