South32 Ltd. (ASX:S32) released its quarterly report, highlighting its success with manganese. The company reported that approximately 1.07 million tonnes of manganese ore was produced at its South African operations. Guidance for the year has been increased 8 percent to just over 2 million tonnes.
Highlights are as follows:
- Maintained FY18 guidance for all operations with the exception of South Africa Manganese where strong market demand and record performance has underpinned an 8% increase to our prior estimate.
- Achieved record ore production at Australia Manganese in the December 2017 half year as the performance of our high grade circuit improved and the PC02 circuit continued to operate at capacity.
- Delivered another production record at Mozal Aluminium in the December 2017 half year while South Africa Aluminium remains on track to increase production in FY18, despite an electric arc incident which impacted 36 pots on 30 November 2017.
- Established a substantial alumina hydrate inventory position as the Worsley Alumina input circuit continued to operate at a rate of 4.5Mtpa (100% basis) and scheduled calciner maintenance was undertaken.
- Increased payable nickel production at Cerro Matoso by 23% in the December 2017 half year as ore grades improved with the successful ramp-up of La Esmeralda.
- Restarted a single longwall at the Appin colliery on 13 October and remain on track to produce 4.5Mt of coal at Illawarra Metallurgical Coal in FY18.
- Commenced the process to manage South Africa Energy Coal as a stand-alone business from April 20181 and approved a 4.3 billion South African Rand (US$301M) investment to extend the life of the Klipspruit colliery by at least 20 years.
Graham Kerr, CEO of South32, commented:
A record quarter of performance and supportive market dynamics have allowed us to increase FY18 production guidance at South Africa Manganese by eight per cent, while production guidance for all other operations remains unchanged.At the Appin colliery, we successfully restarted one underground longwall on 13 October and remain committed to our ramp-up plan as we seek to reset the operation’s culture and drive productivity to an acceptable level.We are also actively reshaping our portfolio with South Africa Energy Coal to be managed as a stand-alone business from April 2018. This strategic initiative will significantly simplify our organization and unlock additional value for shareholders.