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Anglo American coal production increases in Q4 2012

World Coal,

Anglo American has announced its production figures for Q4 2012, reporting drops in production of iron ore and platinum due to strikes at its operations in South Africa. Both metallurgical coal and thermal coal production were up.

Metallurgical coal

Production of export metallurgical coal for the quarter was 4.6 million t, bringing the total annual production to a record 17.7 million t. All export opencast operations achieved full year site records for production of saleable tonnes.

For the quarter, metallurgical coal production increased by 13%, driven by a strong performance in longwall production and the impacts from the partial drift failure and longwall move in 2011. Production at Moranbah increased by 55% compared to Q3 2012, driven by the longwall productivity. Peace River Coal in Canada increased production by 43% due to a combination of productivity improvements and upgrades to the coal handling and preparation plant.

Updating on the brownfield Grosvenor metallurgical coal project in Queensland, Australia, the company said this was progressing in line with expectations. All permits and licenses are in place and engineering and procurement activities are progressing to plan. Construction has commenced onsite with the access road complete and bulk earthworks well under way. Longwall production is expected to be achieved in 2016.

Thermal coal

Export thermal coal production in South Africa increased by 5% to 4.7 million t as a result of the ramp up at Zibulo and a change to include lower calorific value and higher yielding products at Zibulo and Goedehoop. This was partly offset by the planned closures of high-cost pits at Kleinkopje.

Domestic coal production decreased by 7% to 10.2 million t predominantly due to an additional longwall move at New Denmark.

In Colombia, Cerrejón’s production performance for the quarter decreased marginally as a result of the higher volume of waste removal. However, for the full year, improved weather conditions helped Cerrejón to achieve record production.

Written by Jonathan Rowland.

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