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Anglo American cuts 2-year output targets for diamonds, Kumba Iron Ore, met coal

Global mining company Anglo American PLC expects 2019 copper equivalent output to be 1% to 2% higher on a yearly basis, it said in a presentation to investors Dec. 10.

The company expects annual copper equivalent production to grow 20% to 25% by 2023 as it brings a number of projects online during the next three years. The company raised its medium-term production guidance for copper, platinum and palladium while cutting output targets for diamonds iron ore and metallurgical coal relative to 2018 figures.

Anglo American expects 2019 unit costs to fall 5% year over year. In 2020, production is expected to rise 3% on a yearly basis with cost inflation of about 2% largely absorbed by productivity and cost improvements, the latter of which will total about US$400 million, the company said. Overall, the company is targeting US$3 billion to US$4 billion through cost and volume improvements.

Anglo American's copper production guidance for 2020 was tightened to between 620,000 and 670,000 tonnes, from up to 680,000 tonnes, due to water constraints in Chile, which will defer those volumes into 2021.

Kumba Iron Ore Ltd.'s production guidance in 2020 and 2021 was lowered by 1 million tonnes to between 42 Mt and 43 Mt. The company also lowered its metallurgical coal guidance for 2020 by 1 Mt, to between 21 Mt and 23 Mt, and by the same amount for 2021 to between 22 Mt and 24 Mt.

Anglo unit De Beers SA's diamond output guidance for 2020 was down by 1 million carats over the previous forecast to between 32 million and 34 million carats. It lowered its 2021 forecast to between 34 million and 36 million carats, down by 1 million carats over the previously guided range.

Platinum guidance remains at 2.0 million to 2.2 Moz, while the palladium guidance was raised to 1.4 Moz for 2020 from between 1.3 Moz and 1.4 Moz.

Anglo raised its full-year guidance for iron ore production for its Minas Rio mine in Brazil by 10% in November, saying it expects Minas Rio to produce 23 Mt of iron ore in 2019. Minas Rio is expected to produce between 22 Mt and 24 Mt in 2020, rising by 2 Mt in 2021.

Minas Rio iron ore and the group's thermal coal output guidance remained unchanged.