Over the last year Anglo American (AAL-L) has commissioned three of its four major growth projects in three different metals: iron ore, nickel and copper.
On Dec. 20 the company announced that it had successfully commissioned its Kolomela iron ore mine in South Africa's Northern Cape five months ahead of schedule and on budget, and that it had shipped 100,000 tons of lump ore to the port of Qingdao in China. The company plans to ramp up production to 4 million to 5 million tonnes next year, and reach full production of 9 million tonnes per year by 2013.
"The commissioning of the Kolomela project is in-line with our growth strategy of ramping our South African production up to seventy million tonnes per year by 2019," Chris Griffith, chief executive of Anglo American's Kumba iron ore business, said in a statement.
The news at Kolomela follows the expansion to double production from the Los Bronces copper mine in Chile in November, and the delivery of 36,000 tonnes per year from the Barro Alto nickel project in Brazil in March.
"Three of our four major projects are now ramping up to produce significant near-term volume growth at highly competitive operating costs and capital intensity ratios," Cynthia Carroll, Anglo American's chief executive, said in a statement.
The fourth and largest project in the pipeline is the giant greenfield Minas-Rio iron ore operation in Brazil, which is set to ship its first ore in the second half of 2013. Minas-Rio secured major licences and permits during 2011. In addition, offshore and onshore works at the port are on schedule; more than 90% of land access has been secured along the 525 km pipeline route, and almost 200 km of pipe has been installed; and the civil works at the beneficiation plant are well under way.
Anglo American's mining portfolio includes iron ore, manganese, metallurgical and thermal coal, copper, nickel, precious metals, and diamonds.
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