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Anglo Says Most South Africa Coal Assets Work to Plan Amid Rain

Anglo American Plc said “most” of its South African steam coal operations delivered to plan in recent weeks as heavy rains pummel the country.

“Despite the challenges posed by rain, our Thermal Coal operations have performed well with most of them delivering according to plan,” London-based Anglo American’s local unit said in an e-mailed response to a query.

Heavy rain since December in South African derailed trains, flooded crops and added to coal producers’ problems in Australia, where floods have shut mines in Queensland. South Africa declared 28 municipalities across seven of its nine provinces disaster areas last week.

Wescoal Holdings Ltd. said two of its coal pits in South Africa’s main producing region, Mpumalanga, flooded and it may lose about a quarter of a year’s output. Rockwell Diamonds Inc. lost five days’ worth of gem production due to flooding at its operations north of Kimberley, where three-quarters of the normal annual rainfall was recorded in the past six days, the Vancouver-based company said in a statement today.

Rains may persist into June, the South African Weather Service said Jan. 26. In the first 10 days of January, most of South Africa received more than double its normal rainfall, according to a map on the service’s website.

Optimum Coal Holdings Ltd. said last week its opencast mines were affected by excessive rain and First Uranium Corp. said yesterday some of its pump stations had flooded.

In Mozambique, on South Africa’s northern border, about 12,000 people were displaced by flooding, state-controlled Radio Mozambique reported, citing Joao Ribeiro, director of the national disaster institute.

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