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Anglo American subsidiary Kumba Iron Ore reported a 37% total production increase in the third quarter compared to Q3 2013, the iron ore business noted in its quarterly report ended 30 September 2014.

The strong improvement in quarterly iron ore production increases the group’s forecast for full-year output at its Kumba Iron Ore subsidiary.

Full-year output

Kumba’s full-year output for 2014 has been raised to between 45-million and 46-million tonnes from between 44-million and 46-million tonnes.

Kumba said its Sishen mine, which underwent a production recovery plan, performed well against its operational plan, producing 9.3 Mt for the quarter, an increase of 44% compared to Q3 2013 and 11% compared to the previous quarter.

Sishen mine is on track to produce 35 Mt, 36 Mt and 37 Mt in 2014, 2015, and 2016 respectively, stated the company.

Domestic sales volumes of 1.1 Mt decreased by 14% compared to Q3 2013 and by 18% compared to the previous quarter.

Kumba operations

At the its Kolomela mine about 80km from the Sishen mine, Kumba turned in a record quarterly performance of 3.4-million tonnes, a 20% improvement year on year.

Production at Thabazimbi mine increased by 39% compared to Q3 2013 and by 85% compared to the previous quarter, to 0.3 Mt.

Export sales volumes decreased by 4% compared to Q3 2013 and by 12% compared to the previous quarter to 9.1 Mt.

The decrease is mainly attributable to the annual Transnet maintenance shutdown in August and a slow start up thereafter, and not due to market conditions. The logistics system is back to operating at normal run rates, said Anglo.

Platinum weight

Meanwhile, the group’s platinum division, which was in ramp-up mode at its Rustenburg operations after a damaging five-month strike in the first half of the year, reported a 14% drop in output year on year to 532 000 oz for the quarter.

The lower production was also a result of two fatal accidents at its Thembelani and Dishaba mines, which results in temporary closure of working areas to investigate the causes.

Amplats lost 92 000 oz to the ramp-up, which is the period in which the strike-affected mines were returned to prestrike production levels.

The strike cost Amplats 424 000 oz of platinum.

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