Mixed production update from Xstrata - UPDATE

Xstrata, the Switzerland-based miner which looks set to merge with commodities trader Glencore, said volumes of thermal coal, zinc and lead in concentrate and zinc metal in the third quarter increased year-on-year.

Xstrata, the Switzerland-based miner which looks set to merge with commodities trader Glencore, said volumes of thermal coal, zinc and lead in concentrate and zinc metal in the third quarter increased year-on-year.

In a third quarter production update, the company also said that ten major projects will commence commissioning on schedule by the end of 2012, across every commodity business, transforming volumes, costs and asset quality.

Its update on the commodities it mines ran as follows:

Copper - Total mined copper production improved for the third consecutive quarter in 2012 as Xstrata Copper moved from older, end-of-life mines to new, lower-cost operations. Third quarter copper production of 187,800 tonnes was 2% higher than the second quarter but 16% lower than the corresponding period of 2011.

Coal - In the third quarter of 2012, total consolidated coal production was 24m tonnes, a slight increase on the corresponding period in 2011. Total consolidated production for the first nine months of the year increased by 8% on the same period in 2011, due to increased thermal coal production across every division.

Nickel - Total nickel production for the third quarter of 2012 was in line with the prior period. Total nickel production for the first nine months of the year increased by 2% to 79,474 tonnes compared to the same period last year, driven by a 16% increase in nickel in ferronickel production from Falcondo following the restart of mining activities in February 2011 to 50% of installed capacity.

Zinc - Record output at the Mount Isa operation contributed to a 4% increase in zinc in concentrate production volumes in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the same period last year. The higher Australian volumes more than offset lower grades at its Brunswick and Perseverance mines in Canada, where ore reserves approach the end of their lives. Zinc in concentrate production remained at a similar level to that achieved during the first nine months of 2011.

Alloys - Attributable ferrochrome production of 195,000 tonnes in the third quarter of 2012 reflected furnaces operating at 55% of capacity due to high winter electricity tariffs and furnace refurbishment programmes being extended in response to soft market conditions. Volumes were 15% lower than the first nine months of 2011, mainly due to power buyback deals with Eskom, the South African electricity supplier, to counter electricity shortages.

CM

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