CENTURION, South Africa – During the fourth quarter, operational activities were hampered primarily by above average rainfall and to a lesser extent, some equipment reliability and availability. Kumba has improved its high rainfall readiness and associated recovery plans to mitigate such weather impacts going forward.
On the equipment reliability front, Kumba continues to drive its defect elimination and work management programmes and is seeing improvements as a result.
Total waste stripping for 2020 decreased by 16% to 204.8 Mt relative to 244.3 Mt in 2019, with volumes in the period down 16% to 51.4 Mt from 60.9 Mt in Q4 2019, and 13% lower when compared to Q3 2020.
Sishen’s waste stripping decreased by 18% to 37.2 Mt (Q4 2019: 45.3Mt) and Kolomela by 9% to 14.2 Mt (Q4 2019: 15.6 Mt) in the fourth quarter of the year.
Production volumes also continued to be managed in line with logistical capacity and finished stock levels to ensure that the value chain performed optimally. In 2020, the annual scheduled maintenance on the rail and at port took place in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter in 2019.
As a result, production in Q4 2020 was maintained at a similar level to that of Q3 2020 at 9.6 Mt. Relative to the high base of 11.8 Mt in Q4 2019, production volumes were 22% lower, contributing to the 13% decrease in total production of 37.0 Mt (2019: 42 Mt) for the year.
Closing finished iron ore stock for the year ended at 4.7 Mt (Q4 2019: 6.4 Mt), reflecting a drawdown.
Total sales for the period decreased by 6% to 39.7 Mt (2019: 42.2 Mt), driven by an 84% decline in domestic sales of 0.4 Mt (2019: 2.2Mt) to ArcelorMittal SA. Export sales volumes of 39.3 Mt were 2% lower (2019: 40.0Mt).
Kumba realised an average FOB export iron ore price for 2020 of US$115/dmt (2019: US$97/dmt) on the back of a strong Platts 62 index CFR average price of US$109/dmt (2019: US$93/dmt), reflecting the high quality of its iron ore product. For the full year, Kumba achieved an average lump:fine ratio and product quality of 69:31 (2019: 67:33) and 64.3% Fe (2019: 64.2%), respectively.
Kumba Iron Ore Limited, a member of the Anglo American plc group, is a leading value-adding supplier of high quality iron ore to the global steel industry. Kumba produces iron ore in South Africa at Sishen and Kolomela mines in the Northern Cape Province. Kumba exports iron ore to customers in a range of geographical locations around the globe including China, Japan, Korea and a number of countries in Europe and the Middle East.