Anglo buoyed by copper lift

City A.M. Reporter
MINER Anglo American posted a jump in quarterly production of iron ore and copper yesterday.

Iron ore production, a key plank of the miner’s growth strategy, was up 17 per cent to 11.7m tonnes in the three months to the end of March, compared with the same quarter last year when heavy rains in the southern hemisphere hampered output.

On a quarter-by-quarter basis, however, Anglo’s iron ore production dropped six per cent, in line with similar falls reported by competitors BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

Bad weather hurt all three miners’ iron ore output. Anglo said there was heavy rainfall at its Sishen mine in South Africa and also blamed a planned removal of waste from the mine. Production of copper, which accounts for roughly a third of Anglo’s profit, grew 21 per cent to 168,400 tonnes, boosted by the expansion of its Los Bronces mine in Chile but offset slightly by stoppages and lower grades at the Collahuasi mine, also in Chile. Meanwhile Anglo is locked in a legal dispute with Codelco over assets in Chile. The company said diamond production slipped by 16 per cent to 6.2m carats.

Liberum analyst Dominic O’Kane said: “The most obvious near-term catalyst for Anglo’s shares is the outcome of management’s platinum strategic review.”