Rough diamond production increased by 8% to 7.4 million carats compared with Q1 2016.
This reflected the contribution of Gahcho Kué in Canada, as well as increases in response to improved trading conditions.
“A strong operational performance enhanced by the continued ramp-up of Gahcho Kué, Minas-Rio and Grosvenor delivered an 9% increase in production on a copper equivalent basis(8). The operating improvements at Sishen and ongoing portfolio refinements are further strengthening Anglo American’s resilience and competitive position. De Beers’ total sales volumes of 14.1 million carats reflected improved demand for lower value goods in stock at 31 December 2016,” says Mark Cutifani, Anglo American Chief Executive Officer.
Platinum production was broadly flat at 572 000 ounces.
With the sale of Rustenburg, production from that operation is now treated as purchase of concentrate (which increased by 93% rather than own mined production (which decreased by 26%).
Refined platinum production increased by 121% to 577,000 ounces as Q1 2016 was impacted by a Section 54 safety stoppage at the Precious Metals Refinery.
Copper production decreased by 3% to 142 600 tonnes.
Continued strong performance at Collahuasi was offset by expected lower grades and increased ore hardness at Los Bronces, and the temporary suspension of mining operations at El Soldado which resulted in 3 000 tonnes of lost production.
Iron ore production from Kumba increased by 17% to 10.5 million tonnes due to improved mining productivity at Sishen, and higher throughput at Kolomela.
Iron ore production from Minas-Rio increased by 30% to 4.3 million tonnes (wet basis) as the operation continued to ramp-up.
Export metallurgical coal production increased by 28% to 5.2 million tonnes, primarily due to a longwall move at Moranbah in Q1 2016 and the ramp-up at Grosvenor.
Production of South African and Colombian export thermal coal increased by 6% to 6.8 million tonnes, driven by higher productivity across most of the South African mines.
Nickel production decreased by 12% to 9,900 tonnes due to unplanned maintenance of Barro Alto’s electric furnaces, impacting throughput.