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Anglo American posts 24% rise in annual copper output

Published 08/02/2024, 07:42
Updated 08/02/2024, 08:16
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Logo of Anglo American is seen on a jacket of an employee of the Los Bronces copper mine, in the outskirts of Santiago, Chile March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) -Global miner Anglo American (JO:AGLJ) on Thursday reported a 24% rise in copper production last year to 826,000 metric tons, lower than a previously forecast range of 830,000-870,000 tons.

The company left its 2024 copper output guidance at 730,000-790,000 tons. The metal is used for electric vehicles and renewable infrastructure, key planks of the energy transition.

Analysts have forecast a copper deficit from this year after Panama ordered the closure of a First Quantum mine with capacity of 350,000 tons per year and as major producers including Anglo, Glencore (LON:GLEN), Codelco and Vale Base Metals expect lower supply from their operations.

London-listed Anglo in December announced $1.8 billion of spending cuts by 2026, which it is prepared to deepen in the event of worsening demand for the metals it mines.

"Various operational challenges remain, but 2024 guidance -which has been reiterated - is achievable," Jefferies analysts said in a note.

Production of rough diamonds at the company's De Beers unit fell 8% to 31.9 million carats in 2023. Diamond demand in major consumer China dropped last year as an economic slowdown curbed appetite for luxury items.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Logo of Anglo American is seen on a jacket of an employee of the Los Bronces copper mine, in the outskirts of Santiago, Chile March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido/File Photo

"Whilst there has been some improvement coming into 2024, the prospects for economic growth in many major economies remain uncertain and it may take some time for rough diamond demand to fully recover, which has led to the Group currently assessing its carrying value of De Beers," Anglo said in a statement.

Iron ore production rose by 1%, while platinum group metals (PGMs) registered a 5% output drop, it said.

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