Anglo’s polar opposite Q4 thermal and met coal production run

Posted February 1, 2016

Experts have highlighted an oversupply of coal.Photo: Daimen Carty

Anglo American reported a drop in thermal coal exports of more than 20 per cent in the last quarter of last year to 7.7mt.

Overall thermal coal exports for the year were down only two per cent to 33.6mt.

Metallurgical coal was up 11 per cent for the same fourth quarter production but only up one per cent over the year to 21.2mt.

The coal industry generally reacted to lower prices by expanding production following the demand drop-off starting more than two years ago.

Anglo’s assets in Queensland include the Capcoal Complex which is made up of underground operations Moranbah North and Dawson and the Capfox open cut operations including Lake Lindsay, Foxleigh and Oak Park.

The latter three mines are 30 per cent owned by Mitsui and produce hard coking coal for export.

Only platinum in Anglo’s roster showed any real signs of growth. Company results are below.


  • Q4 2015 production increased by 3% (on a copper equivalent basis) compared to both Q4 2014 and Q3 2015. The 2015 full year production increased by 5% (on a copper equivalent basis)(7).
  • Iron ore production from Kumba decreased by 12% to 10.9 million tonnes as Sishen is being transitioned to a lower cost pit configuration.
  • Minas-Rio produced 3.3 million tonnes (wet basis) of iron ore, a more than fourfold increase compared to 0.7 million tonnes in Q4 2014, reflecting the ongoing ramp up of the operation.
  • Export metallurgical coal production increased by 11% to 5.5 million tonnes due to strong operational performances at both Grasstree and Moranbah.
  • Export thermal coal production decreased by 21% to 7.7 million tonnes due to the impact of strikes in South Africa and weather related production issues at Cerrejón.
  • Copper production from the retained operations (excluding the AA Norte assets that were sold effective 1 September 2015) increased by 23% to 181,400 tonnes due to higher grades, throughput and metal recoveries. Overall copper production increased by 4%.
  • Nickel production increased by 57% to 10,500 tonnes following the successful completion of the planned Barro Alto furnace rebuilds.
  • Niobium production increased by 23% to 1,600 tonnes with the continuing ramp up of the Boa Vista Fresh Rock (BVFR) plant. Fertiliser production increased by 6%.
  • Platinum production (expressed as metal in concentrate)(5) was broadly flat at 598,000 ounces with operational improvements at own operations, offset by a reduction in purchase of concentrate ounces from third parties.
  • Diamond production decreased by 16% to 7.1 million carats, reflecting the decision to reduce production in response to trading conditions.

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