Anglo American has reported that its Iron ore production in the fourth quarter decreased by 7% to 15.1 million tonnes, driven by a 17% decrease at Minas-Rio, while Kumba’s production was in line with the prior year.
Production decreased by 17% to 5.3 million tonnes primarily due to lower plant availability, impacted by unplanned maintenance and heavy rainfall experienced during the quarter.
The full year average realised price of $150/tonne (FOB Brazil, wet basis) was higher than the Metal Bulletin 66 price of $142/tonne (FOB Brazil, adjusted for freight and moisture), reflecting the premium quality of the product, including higher (~67%) Fe content, partially offset by the timing on provisionally priced volumes.
Kumba – Total production was in line with the prior year at 9.7 million tonnes, reflecting broadly flat production of 3.2 million tonnes at Kolomela and 6.5 million tonnes at Sishen. Production was limited by higher stock levels at the mines as a result of the third party rail performing below planned levels earlier in the year, as well as the impact of the Q4 annual shut-down for rail and port maintenance.
Total sales of 10.7 million tonnes(1) increased by 4% due to improved equipment reliability and throughput at the Saldanha port.
For the full year, Kumba’s iron (Fe) content averaged 64.1% (2020: 64.3%), while the average lump:fines ratio increased to 69:31 (2020: 68:32).
Kumba achieved a full year average realised price of $161/tonne (FOB South Africa, wet basis), 18% above the 62% Fe benchmark price of $136/tonne (FOB South Africa, adjusted for freight and moisture) due to the lump and Fe content quality premiums that the Kumba products attract, partially offset by the timing on provisionally priced volumes.
Production guidance (wet basis) for 2022 is 63-67 million tonnes (Kumba 39-41 million tonnes; Minas-Rio 24-26 million tonnes). Both are subject to the extent of further Covid-19 related disruption and Kumba is subject to the third party rail and port performance.