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Anglo American saw an 11 per cent increase in copper production during the March 2024 quarter, alongside many production highlights.

The major miner also recorded a seven per cent increase in steelmaking coal production.

“We were pleased with the performance in the first quarter, with copper production increasing by 11 per cent as Quellaveco achieved its highest plant throughput rate, while Collahuasi and El Soldado in Chile benefitted from higher grades,” Anglo American chief executive officer Duncan Wanblad said.

“Steelmaking coal production also increased by seven per cent due to the performance at the Aquila longwall and Capcoal open cut operations.”

A four per cent iron ore production increase was recorded at Minas-Rio. This was offset by a planned decrease at Kumba to align with third-party logistics constraints.

Anglo American previously flagged the impact of lower platinum group metal (PGM) prices, which led to a seven per cent decrease in PGM production for the March quarter. Lower volumes from Kroondal and lower production at Amandelbult were the cause.

Despite the reduced PGM production, Wanblad remains optimistic.

“We are driving operational excellence across our assets, focusing on stability and effective cost management as levers to deliver significant value through the cycle,” Wanblad said.

“We are progressing through our asset review to optimise value by simplifying and improving the overall quality of the portfolio.

“With copper now representing 30 per cent of our total production, and having the benefit of several well-sequenced and value-accretive copper growth options within our portfolio over the medium-term, we are also setting up the business to deliver and grow into the major demand themes.”

It comes after Anglo American rejected BHP’s $60 billion takeover bid, saying the proposal “significantly undervalues” Anglo American and its future prospects.