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Anglo American 2020 Profit Hurt by Coronavirus-Related Disruptions — Commodity Comment

FTSE 100 multinational mining company Anglo American PLC on Thursday reported a fall in 2020 net profit, blaming coronavirus-related disruptions to its operations, especially in the first half of the year, but said the latter months benefited from strong metal prices.

 

On production:

 

"Continued strong performances from our Minas-Rio iron ore operation in Brazil and the Collahuasi copper joint operation in Chile helped partly offset the impacts of Covid-19, leading to an overall decrease in production of 10%, on a copper equivalent basis."

 

"Copper production increased by 1% to 647,400 [metric] tons (2019: 638,000 tons), driven by an 11% increase in attributable production from Collahuasi to a record 276,900 tons (2019: 248,800 tons) on the back of strong plant performance, reflecting improvement projects implemented in 2019."

 

"PGMs' production (metal in concentrate) decreased by 14% to 3.8 million ounces (2019: 4.4 million ounces), due to Covid-19 restrictions, which reduced operating capacity for most of the second quarter, particularly at underground operations."

 

"PGM production was 35% higher in the second half of the year compared with the first, as the operations recovered well from the initial disruption caused by the pandemic."

 

"At Kumba, iron ore production decreased by 13% to 37.0 metric tons (2019: 42.4 Mt), owing to lower workforce levels and logistics constraints due to Covid-19 restrictions, as well as above average rainfall and operational issues at the Sishen crusher and Kolomela plant."

 

"Metallurgical coal production decreased by 26% to 16.8 Mt (2019: 22.9 Mt), principally owing to the suspension of operations at Grosvenor following a gas ignition incident in May, and challenges at Moranbah North, where a fall of ground in the first quarter and geotechnical challenges towards the end of the year limited longwall progress."

 

"Thermal coal export production decreased by 22% to 20.6 Mt (2019: 26.4 Mt), primarily due to Covid-19 operational restrictions and a three-month industrial action at Cerrejon, which ended in the first week of December."

 

"Nickel's production increased by 2% to 43,500 [metric] tons (2019: 42,600 tons) owing to improved operational stability, while manganese ore production was in line with the prior year at 3.5 Mt."

 

On diamond demand:

 

"Consumer desirability for natural diamonds is set to remain high over the medium to long term despite the economic impact of the pandemic and increasing supply of lab-grown diamonds."

 

On prices:

 

"The average LME copper price in 2020 increased by 3% compared with 2019."

 

"PGM prices started the year strongly before Covid-19 impacted demand; however, prices soon recovered as PGM supply also faltered."

 

"The average dollar platinum market price increased by 2%, supported by robust industrial demand, despite continuing declines in diesel automotive demand."

 

"The average LME nickel price was 1% lower than the prior year as the impact of Covid-19 on demand in the first half was offset by the subsequent easing of restrictions, notably in China."

 

"The realized price decreased by 10%, principally owing to the increased ferronickel discount, driven by the higher LME nickel price at the end of 2019."

 

On guidance:

 

"Production guidance in 2021 for export thermal coal is unchanged at 24 Mt (Export South Africa 16 Mt; Colombia 8 Mt - attributable share), subject to the extent of further Covid-19-related disruption."

 

"2021 production is expected to be at the lower end of the range following a suspension of operations at Moranbah North in response to elevated gas levels on Feb. 20, subject to the timing of a safe restart at Moranbah North."

 

Write to Barcelona editors at barcelonaeditors@dowjones.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 25, 2021 05:09 ET (10:09 GMT)

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