Mining giant, Anglo American reported a 6 percent increase in total production on a copper equivalent basis in the second quarter of 2018, compared to 2017, the company’s quarterly report has shown.
According to the report released this Thursday, despite the planned maintenance at one of its operations, Collahuasi, the group still managed to produce 12 percent of production reaching 158,000 tonnes, with strong operational performance as well as higher grades.
Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of Anglo American, said: “We have delivered another strong performance, with Copper and Metallurgical Coal in particular driving a 6 percent increase in production. This reflects our consistent and relentless focus on driving efficiency and productivity from our existing world class asset base.”
Copper prices had a rocky start of the year, declining more than 6 percent in the first three months of 2018. Increasing geopolitical concerns, surging warehouse inventories and a weaker Chinese demand put pressure on prices.
Despite this, some analysts remained cautiously optimistic about the future of the red metal and expect prices to pick up in the next few months. In terms of demand, all eyes are on China, the world’s top consumer, as the main factor driving copper prices.
Signs of softer activity have emerged in the Asian country.
It is expected for Chinese copper demand growth to hold up reasonably well into the second quarter, but to slow somewhat in the second half, undermined primarily by the property sector.
Meanwhile local diamond unit of Anglo, Debswana Diamond Company has contributed significantly to the group’s production for the second quarter ended 30 June 2018.
Debswana’s parent company, De Beers says its rough diamond production for the period increased by 3 percent to 9.0 million carats, reflecting production increases to meet stronger demand as well as the contribution from the ramp-up at Gahcho Ku├®.
The report further shows that the Jwaneng mine production increased by 4 percent to 3.0 million carats due to an increase in tonnes mined and treated.
Its local counterpart, Orapa Mine also had its production increasing by 8 percent to 3.3 million carats due to the ramp up of additional processing capacity.
Across the border into Namibia, Namdeb Holdings production increased by 32 percent to 0.5 million carats driven by access to consistently higher grades at the land operations and technology-led optimisation of the marine drill fleet.