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Anglo American announces full-year loss for 2015

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World Coal,

Anglo American has announced underlying earnings of US$457 million in its coal business in 2015 – level with the previous year despite a drop in revenue of US$920 million. Overall the company achieved underlying earnings of US$827 million, down 63% from US$2.2 billion in 2014, resulting in a full year loss of just under US$5.5 billion.

In Australia, the company recorded a 6% rise in coal production on the back of strong performance at the company’s longwall operations – including record production at Grasstree. Overall, production from Australian underground operations was up 33% on the previous year, while production from opencast operations fell 4%.

Underlying earnings from Australia and Canadian operations were up by US$191 million to US$190 million as the production rise, cost reductions (including the benefits of a weaker Australian dollar) helped to offset a 19% fall in the average quarterly hard coking coal benchmark price. Export FOB cash costs of US$55 per tonne were 23% lower in US dollar terms and 7% lower in local currency terms than 2014.

The closure of the company’s Canadian operations at Peace River also had a positive impact on earnings.

In South Africa, export production fell 4% due to the planned closure at Goedehoop and lower production at Mafuba as its transitioned to a new mining area. Industrial action at Landau also resulted in the loss of 0.6 million t of production. Despite this, export sales rose by 13% as the company drewdown stocks.

Meanwhile, production from mines supplying state utility, Eskom, fell 15% to 27.7 million t on the back reduced offtake by the power company at New Vaal and Denmark and unplanned dragline maintenance at Isibonelo. South African earnings fell 34% to US$230 million – a result of a 21% fall in the export coal price and the industrial action at Landau.

Earnings from Anglo American’s stake in the Cerrajon mine in Colombia also fell by 45% to US$90 million owing to weaker prices and a weather-related fall in production, which saw company’s share of production fall by 1% to 11.1 million t. Cerrajon is jointly owned by Anglo American, Glencore and BHP Billiton.

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