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Anglo American raises iron ore target for the year

Iron ore production up 27% to 15.7 million tonnes.

LONDON – Miner Anglo American posted higher second quarter iron ore production on Thursday, leading it to raise its annual target for the steel-making ingredient.

Iron ore production rose 27% to 15.7 million tonnes, mainly due to a better performance at its South African unit, Kumba Iron Ore, which rose 28%, Anglo said in a statement.

It raised its iron ore guidance to between 41-43 million tonnes from 40-42 million and flagged that it would come in at the lower end of its coal output targets.

In the midst of the commodity slump, Anglo said it would sell 16 assets including Kumba to focus on copper, diamonds and platinum. But earlier this year the company said it would no longer be a forced seller of its bulk businesses after metal prices rebounded.

At Kumba’s Sishen mine, production was driven by improved fleet efficiencies and higher plant yields.

Earlier this week, larger rival BHP Billiton set a higher target for iron ore production in 2018 while Rio Tinto cut its forecast for shipments by up to 10 million tonnes. 

The price of iron ore recovered from its lowest this year in June and has since risen 24% to about $66 per tonne on Thursday, but is still down about 15% this year.

In other metals, copper production fell 2%, platinum rose 5%, while diamonds saw a 36% jump in output due to the ramp-up of its Canadian mine Gahcho Kue.

Shares were up 0.4% by 0725 GMT while the overall miners’ index in London was softer.

“The lift in Kumba production guidance will offset the lower guidance of coal operations … it looks like its all running fine,” said Investec analyst Hunter Hillcoat adding that all operations were performing well.

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