Oct 25, 2012 (Dow Jones) LONDON--Globally-diversified miner Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN) said Thursday that its third-quarter output rose for five of the seven commodities it produces, but platinum output dropped on South African strikes and diamond output fell due to poor market conditions.
The FTSE-100 miner performed broadly in line with other large diversified miners, such as BHP Billiton Ltd (BHP) and Rio Tinto PLC (RIO), who also reported higher iron ore, coal and copper output, even as they warned of short-term volatility in the commodities markets due to economic uncertainty.
Anglo American said third-quarter iron ore output rose 14% on the year to 12.5 million metric tons, with output from its Kumba Iron Ore unit reaching a quarterly record. This happened even though illegal strikes at its largest mine resulted in the loss of approximately 2.2 million tons of production of the raw steel-making ingredient.
The company also said that its Brazilian Minas-Rio iron ore project is slated to ship its first ore by the second half of 2014, providing all impediments to its startup are cleared by the end of this year. The price tag to complete the project is $5.8 billion, but that could increase, the company said.
Copper production rose 12% on the year to 157,300 tons in the third quarter, following the completion and continued ramp-up of its expanded Chilean Los Bronces operation. These gains were partly offset by lower grades and an extended ball mill outage at Chile's Collahuasi mine.
Third-quarter production of Australian metallurgical coal for export increased 12% to 4.5 million tons, compared to the same period a year ago.
Export thermal-coal production from South Africa increased by 10% on the year to 4.6 million tons in the third quarter. Colombian thermal-coal exports fell 1% to 2.8 million tons.
Platinum-equivalent refined production at its majority-owned unit, Anglo American Platinum Ltd (AMS.JO) fell 6% on the year to 626,000 ounces, after illegal strike action at six of its mines caused a production loss of 42,000 ounces of equivalent refined platinum in the quarter.
Nickel output rose 38% to 9,000 tons as the Brazilian Barro Alto mine continues to ramp up.
Third-quarter diamond production fell 31% on the year to 6.38 million carats, and was down 12% compared to the second quarter of 2012, mainly due to continued scheduled maintenance at De Beers and weak demand for diamonds.
Anglo American's shares closed Wednesday up 1% at 1,877 pence, resulting in a market capitalization of GBP26.11 billion. The company's shares have fallen 21% since the beginning of the year.