Anglo American’s Kumba raises production target

Anglo American (LON:AAL) released today third-quarter numbers highlighting that its South African subsidiary, Kumba Iron Ore, increased full-year production targets by 1-million tonnes to between 42-million and 44-million tonnes.

Improved production is the result of a positive performance at Sishen, the company’s flagship mine in the Northern Cape and the country’s largest source of iron ore. The mine’s output target for 2017 was raised by 1-million tonnes to between 29-million and 30-million tonnes.

The favourable numbers come despite the fact that lower output at Sishen made Kumba’s production decrease by 2% year-on-year to 11.5-million tonnes for the quarter ended September 30.

Sishen’s production dropped by 7% to 7.8-million tonnes from an unusually high third quarter last year of 8.3-million tonnes. Nevertheless, 2017 Q3’s figures were in line with the previous two quarters.

On the other hand, productivity improvements and the ramp-up of the modular plant boosted production at the Kolomela iron-ore mine, situated near Postmasburg town. Output increased to 3.7-million tonnes up 8% year-on-year and 5% quarter-on-quarter.

The world's number five diversified miner also revealed Tuesday that iron ore production from the massive Minas-Rio in Brazil decreased by 6% to 4.2 million tonnes, as a result of expected lower grade ore. Full year production guidance, however, remains unchanged at 16-18 million tonnes.

“The focus remains on obtaining the Step 3 licences required for the operation to access the full range of run-of-mine grades and to target the operation’s nameplate capacity of 26.5 million tonnes per year,” Anglo stated in its report.