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July 18, 2019, 4:03 a.m. EDT

Anglo American cuts diamond output forecast

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By Oliver Griffin

Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN) said on Thursday that second-quarter diamond production from its majority-owned De Beers business fell 14% as it follows a strategy of producing to market demand, and revised its diamond-production guidance downwards.

The diversified miner said that while overall second-quarter production rose 2% on a copper-equivalent basis, De Beers production in the three months ended June 30 fell to 7.7 million carats, down from 9 million carats in the year-earlier period.

Overall production on a copper-equivalent basis was boosted by the ramp-up of operations at the company's Minas Rio iron-ore operation in Brazil. Anglo American said Minas Rio, which produced 5.9 million metric tons of iron ore in the second quarter, continues to ramp-up ahead of schedule.

Removing the impact of operations at Minas Rio, Anglo American said its second-quarter production fell 4% on a copper-equivalent basis.

Copper production in the second quarter of the year rose 1% to 159,100 due to strong performances at the Los Bronces and Collahuasi mines. Platinum production rose 3% to 520,300 ounces and palladium decreased by 1% to 347,200 ounces, due to a change in mix of production, the company said.

In South Africa, Anglo American's Kumba iron-ore operation fell 9% to 10.5 million tons due to unscheduled plant maintenance.

Anglo American revised its diamond production outlook down to around 31 million carats for the full year, the lower end of its previous guidance range. The company also cut the outlook for production of iron ore at its Kumba operations to a range of 42 million to 43 million tons for the year.

However, it wasn't all bas news as the company raised its Minas Rio guidance to a range of 19 million to 21 million tons, from a previous range of 18 million to 20 million tons.

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