Platinum strike doesn’t get to spoil Anglo American’s first quarter results

Platinum strike doesn’t get to spoil Anglo American’s first quarter results

Chile’s Los Bronces (pictured) and Collahuasi copper mines boosted Anglo’s results.

Anglo American’s (LON:AAL) shares rose 3% Thursday after the diversified miner reported significant production increase across all of its divisions in the first quarter except for its platinum output, which fell by nearly 40%.

Copper production climbed 18% to 202,000 metric tons thanks to higher ore grades at the company’s Los Bronces and Collahuasi mines in Chile.  As a result, the miner has raised its 2014 copper-output forecast to 710,000 tons to 730,000 tons from 700,000 tons to 720,000 tons.

Iron ore output rose 10% to 11.3 million metric tons in the first quarter, compared with the same quarter the previous year, due to solid performances from its two South African iron ore mines.  The steel making ingredient and manganese accounted for more than 45% of the miner’s underlying operating profit last year.

Coal output also jumped in the first quarter by 7.5% to 23.9 million tons, partly due to higher production from its Colombian Cerrejón mine, hardly hit by strikes in the same quarter of 2013.

Diamond production at its De Beers unit rose 18% on year to 7.5 million carats in the first quarter.

The platinum division of Anglo American, Amplats, lost 185,000 ounces of platinum production as a result of the over three-month strike over pay in South Africa. The world’s top producer of the precious metal, said output fell to 357,000 ounces in the first three months of the year, down almost 40% compared with the same period last year.

Last week, CEO Mark Cutifani gave clear signs of wanting to offload the company’s platinum mines in South Africa as soon as possible, as he said the Rustenburg operations were no longer considered one of Anglo’s core assets.

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