Currently viewing Global edition

Anglo American copper output down

Anglo American has reported a 9% fall in copper production to 147,100 tonnes in the first quarter to March 31 compared with 161,100t in the prior year period, and a 7% fall from the 158,800t produced in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Anglo American copper output down Anglo American copper output down Anglo American copper output down Anglo American copper output down Anglo American copper output down

Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani (middle) at the company's Quellaveco project in Peru

The largest decline was seen at its biggest operation, Los Bronces in Chile, which fell 25% to 68,700t from 91,700t due to prolonged and record drought conditions. This saw plant throughput fall 42% due to low water availability which was partially offset by planned higher grades of 1% compared with 0.8% a year ago.

This was compensated to some degree by a 16% increase in output from the Collahuasi mine (44% Anglo American) to 66,500t of attributable production from 57,300t a year ago due to higher plant throughput of 14Mt compared with 13Mt a year ago, higher copper recovery of 89.1% compared with 86.3% due to plant optimisations and higher grades of 1.20% compared with 1.16%.

Production at El Soldado fell slightly from 12,100t to 11,900t.

Despite the first quarter decline, the company maintained its production guidance for 2020 at 620,000-670,000t, subject to water availability and the extent of further COVID-19-related disruptions.

In Peru, the company has put its Quellavecco development project in Moquegua on stand-by for at least three months due to the government-imposed lockdown of the country to halt the propagation of COVID-19. The majority of people working on the project downed tools on March 17 as a national emergency was declared.

Anglo American still aims to achieve first production from the US$5.3 billion project in 2022.

Quelleveco is due to produce 300,000 tonnes per year of copper and molybdenum in concentrates during its first 10 years of operation at a throughput rate of 127,000 tonnes per day.