Anglo American reports strong copper, iron ore and PGM production

LONDON  – In its ‘Production Report for the fourth quarter ended 31 December 2020’ Anglo American reports the following highlights:

  • Copper production increased by 6% as Los Bronces secured access to industrial water for processing, while Collahuasi delivered record production for the 12 month period, which more than offset planned maintenance in the quarter.
  • Iron ore production at Minas-Rio in Brazil increased by 5% to a record 6.5 million tonnes for the quarter.
  • PGMs’ ACP Phase A unit rebuild and restart completed ahead of schedule in November, and performing strongly to begin processing the build-up of inventory.
  • Rough diamond sales continued to improve, with midstream demand supported by an encouraging holiday selling season for diamond jewellery.

Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of Anglo American, said: “The strong performance recovery in the second half continued through the fourth quarter, following the Covid-19 disruptions earlier in the year.

“As expected, second half production returned to 95%(1) of 2019 rates, benefiting from strong performances in copper at Los Bronces in Chile and in iron ore at Minas-Rio in Brazil. The recovery was all the more credible given planned maintenance at both the Collahuasi copper and Kumba iron ore operations and the suspension of operations at the Grosvenor metallurgical coal mine.

“As we begin 2021, we are continuing to see positive demand for rough diamonds, supported by consumer demand for diamond jewellery in the holiday selling season. While it is still too early to signal a strong and sustained recovery, the resilience in demand in spite of ongoing Covid-19 impacts is very encouraging.

“While many jurisdictions are experiencing a new wave of Covid-19 infections, our extensive health measures and revised operating procedures have helped keep our people safe and healthy, while supporting solid production and cost management efforts across our global operations.”


  • 2021 production guidance is summarised as follows:
  • 2021 production guidance(1)  
  • Diamonds(2) – 32-34 Mct (Previously 33-35 Mct)  
  • Copper(3)  –  640-680 kt  
  • Platinum group metals(4)  – 4.2-4.6 Moz   
  • Iron ore(5) – 64-67 Mt  
  • Metallurgical coal(6) – 18-20 Mt  
  • Thermal coal(7) – 24 Mt  
  • Nickel(8) – 42-44 kt  

(1) Subject to the extent of further Covid-19 related disruption.

(2) Subject to trading conditions and on a 100% basis except for the Gahcho Kue joint venture, which is on an attributable 51% basis.

(3) Copper business unit only. On a contained-metal basis.

(4) 5E + gold produced metal in concentrate ounces. Includes own mined production (~65%) and purchased concentrate volumes (~35%). The split of metals differs for own mined and purchased concentrate, refer to FY2019 results presentation slide 30 for indicative split of own mined volumes.

(5) Total iron ore is the sum of Kumba (dry basis) and Minas-Rio (wet basis).

(6) Excludes thermal coal production in Australia.

(7) Export South Africa including volumes sold domestically at export parity pricing and Colombia (33.3%) production.

(8) Nickel business unit only.

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