Anglo American reported a 5% increase in total production on a copper equivalent basis for 2017. The uptick in annual production was achieved despite actions taken to remove higher cost volumes in platinum and metallurgical coal, which resulted in a 2% decrease in Q4 2017 copper equivalent production compared to Q4 2016. At De Beers production rose 5% supported by stronger trading conditions, with Gahcho Kue operating at nameplate capacity since Q2 2017. Copper production rose 1% to 148,600 tonnes in Q4 2017 driven by continued strong plant performance and higher grades. Platinum production in Q4 2017 decreased by 4% to 587 kilo ounces (koz) compared to the corresponding period last year. Palladium output fell 5% to 375 koz in Q4 2017 compared to the corresponding period last year. The fall in platinum and palladium output for the quarter comes as the miner decided in Q3 2017 to remove unprofitable ounces by placing Bokoni on care and maintenance. Offsetting that somewhat, Mogalakwena delivered a record production year driven by further productivity improvements. Production guidance at Kumba Iron Ore for the full year was revised upward by 8% to 45 million tonnes driven by improved productivity. Metallurgical coal production for the full year increased 1% to 19.7 million tonnes with Grosvenor's ramp-up and record productivity levels at underground operations offset by the removal of higher cost volumes at Dawson. Nickel production rose 5% to 11,400 tonnes, a record quarter. Chief executive Mark Cutifani said: We have delivered another strong operating performance in 2017' 'The ramp-up of Gahcho Kue and Grosvenor mines made positive contributions to our production profile in 2017, and a strong performance from Sishen resulted in an 8% increase in production from Kumba Iron Ore.'
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