Copper mines put Anglo American on track for strong 2018 – by Allan Seccombe (Business Day – October 23, 2018)

After a standout performance in its copper division in the September quarter and positive performances across the bulk of its other businesses so far in 2018, Anglo American lined itself up for a strong 2018 by meeting its production targets.

Anglo, which is listed in London and Johannesburg, reported quarterly falls in diamond, iron ore and metallurgical coal production for the three months to end-September compared to a year ago, but these were offset by an outstanding performance from its copper mines.

“Strong operational performance at our copper assets delivered a 17% increase in production, more than offsetting planned lower volumes at De Beers and the impact of rail infrastructure constraints at Kumba in the first half of the year,” Anglo CEO Mark Cutifani said, referring to JSE-listed Kumba Iron Ore, Africa’s largest iron ore miner.

On a year-to-date basis, Anglo’s production numbers are all positive apart from a small dip in iron ore — excluding the well-flagged stoppage at the Minas-Rio iron ore mine in Brazil — and nickel, but Anglo has retained its full-year forecasts for all its commodities.

Copper production for the year to date was 485,000 tonnes, 13% higher compared to a year earlier. Output was 17% higher in the quarter at 17,200 tonnes.

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