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Anglo American records growth in larger divisions in Q1

Anglo American, one of the world's largest mining firms, saw production increase year-on-year across most of its asset classes in the first quarter despite scaling back spending.

Anglo American, one of the world's largest mining firms, saw production increase year-on-year across most of its asset classes in the first quarter despite scaling back spending.

Exploration and evaluation expenditure totalled $103m in the first three months of 2013, down 26% as a rise in exploration was offset by a sharp fall in evaluation spending.

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Nevertheless, the company recorded annual growth in output from iron ore, metallurgical coal, thermal coal, copper, diamond and phosphates, though volumes of nickel and platinum were down.

The iron ore and manganese division, which accounted for nearly half of profits in 2012, saw decent growth in the larger iron ore unit with production up 2.0% at 10.3m tonnes (Mt) due to a strong performance at its Komela mine in South Africa. The smaller manganese operations saw ore output fall 2.0% at 0.8Mt.

The company said it is on track to deliver first ore on ship from its Minas-Rio iron ore project in Brazil by the end of next year.

Copper, its next largest division which accounts for around a quarter of profits, increased production by 1.0% year-on-year to 170,400 tonnes.

Thermal coal and metallurgical coal production rose 6.0% and 23%, respectively, while diamond and phosphates output increased 1.0% and 15%.

However, nickel volumes were down 48% due to the end of production and activities at Loma de Niquel in Venezuela in November 2012. Meanwhile, platinum equivalent output was down 2.0% partly owing to intermittent labour strikes in South Africa.

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