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Anglo American eyes South America for base metals growth

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Anglo American eyes South America for base metals growth

Anglo American PLC expects South America to be its primary growth area for base metals in the coming years, Reuters wrote Jan. 10, citing Ruben Fernandes, CEO of the company's Brazil operations.

Fernandes, who will soon take over as CEO of the company's global base metals business, said he wants to prepare Anglo for an anticipated demand growth in electric vehicles that is likely to drive appetite for nickel and copper.

"Anglo is already strong in South Africa and Australia, so South America is an important geographical diversification," Fernandes said.

In addition to Chile and Peru, Anglo is expected to produce copper in Brazil, where it secured hundreds of exploration permits last year, according to the report.

The miner will also conduct studies to certify commercial viability this year, the executive said.

Anglo is targeting a 2022 production start for its Quellaveco copper mine in Peru, with an estimated 300,000 equivalent tonnes output annually.

Just recently, the Anglo and Glencore PLC-owned Collahuasi copper mine in Chile said it was seeking an environmental permit to extend the mine's life. The company also secured permits to increase capacity at its Minas Rio iron ore mine in Brazil to 26.5 million tonnes per year by 2020.

Anglo's 2018 copper output from its Chilean operations is expected to total around 660,000 tonnes.