Anglo American Plc, a mining company with operations from Australia to Brazil, said fourth-quarter iron-ore and platinum output declined because of strikes in South Africa, while coal and copper production rose.
Output at Anglo’s Kumba Iron Ore unit fell 19 percent to 9 million metric tons, mainly because of a walkout at the Sishen mine, the company said today in a statement. Equivalent refined platinum, which is smelted from mined ore and purchased metal-in-concentrate, declined 29 percent to 416,000 ounces following stoppages at the Rustenburg, Amandelbult and Union projects.
Pay strikes that began at South Africa’s platinum mines in August spread to gold, coal and iron-ore operations, with about 120,000 workers downing tools at the peak of the unrest, according to the Chamber of Mines. Anglo has announced plans to cut platinum volumes equal to almost 7 percent of world output and may fire as many as 14,000 workers to curb costs.
Copper production climbed 2 percent to 172,900 tons in the fourth quarter. Export metallurgical coal increased 13 percent to 4.6 million tons. De Beers, the diamond producer owned by Anglo American, raised output by 24 percent to 8.05 million carats, according to the statement.
Copper results beat analyst estimates after the company increased output from its Los Bronces mine in Chile, Johann Pretorius, an analyst at Citigroup Inc. in Johannesburg, said today in a note. Production exceeded Citigroup’s projection by 12 percent, he said.
Anglo dropped 0.5 percent to close at 1,886 pence in London trading.
Nickel output declined 25 percent to 7,400 tons because of a mining halt at the Loma de Niquel project in Venezuela after the country banned exports and mining concessions expired in November, according to London-based Anglo.