XSTRATA Production Report for the 12 months ended 31 December 2012
- Record annual thermal coal production resulting from the successful commissioning of the Ravensworth North, Ulan West and Ulan open cut projects in Australia, productivity improvements at Cerrejón and the continued transition of our South African thermal coal operations into large-scale, low-cost operations;
- Record refined nickel volumes which benefited from the commissioning of Raglan mine’s Kikialik expansion and above capacity ferronickel production from Falcondo;
- A second consecutive year of record Australian zinc production volumes as a result of improved productivity levels;
- On-going de-risking of our capital programme as nine growth projects were successfully commissioned across our commodity portfolio, transforming volumes, costs and asset quality:
- We completed, on schedule, the first stage of the 8 million tonne per annum Ravensworth North thermal coal operation in New South Wales. The second stage, the expansion of the existing coal preparation plant, is on schedule for completion in 2013;
- Operations began at the 1.5 million tonne per annum Ulan open cut thermal coal mine in New South Wales and are on schedule to reach full production in 2013;
- Ernest Henry Mining commenced processing ore in September from Xstrata Copper’s nearby Mount Margaret mine in north-west Queensland, Australia, which will add around 30,000 tonnes of annual copper production to Ernest Henry’s production profile;
- Expansion of the concentrator and associated mine at our Antamina copper/zinc joint venture mine in Peru was successfully commissioned in the first quarter of 2012 and throughput rates are now consistently exceeding the planned 38% capacity increase;
- In September, ore production commenced, over one year ahead of schedule and on budget, at Xstrata Zinc’s high grade Lady Loretta mine in Queensland, Australia. Full-scale commercial mining will begin in mid-2013, delivering at full production an estimated 1.6 million tonnes of ore per annum;
- In early October, Xstrata Alloys commissioned the Tswelopele pelletizing and sintering plant, on time and on budget. The plant will reach full capacity of around 600,000 tonnes per annum of sintered pellets early in 2013;
- In November, Xstrata Copper commenced commercial grade production from our new Antapaccay mine, ahead of its progressive ramp up to nameplate processing capacity of 70,000 tonnes per day in the first half of 2013 and in line with budget. The mine is expected to produce an average of 160,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate per annum, plus gold and silver by-products, in the initial years of its more than 20 year projected life;
- In December, Xstrata Copper commissioned on schedule Lomas Bayas’ Lomas II project which will extend the mine life by 16 years at existing production levels of 75,000 tonnes of copper cathodes per annum; and
- First ore was delivered six months ahead of schedule at our 1 million tonnes per annum mine expansion at George Fisher zinc mine.
- Construction was completed on Line 1 at the Koniambo ferronickel operation in New Caledonia. Following the Line 1 furnace heat up during February 2013, we expect to be generating commercial-grade ferronickel by the end of March, in line with our commissioning and ramp up plans. With metal production commencing in 2013, the site is well positioned to deliver the two-year production ramp-up to achieve its nameplate 60,000 tonnes of nickel in ferronickel per annum run rate by the end of 2014.
- We confirmed a definitive estimate of $5.2 billion for Xstrata Copper’s Las Bambas project in southern Peru, reconfirming the project’s status as a world class, Tier 1 copper asset that will deliver substantial value. Las Bambas is now in full construction phase and set to produce 400,000 tonnes of copper per annum from 2015 for at least the first five years of its more than 20 year projected life;
- We approved the $360 million (AUD360 million) Phase 3 expansion of Xstrata Zinc’s McArthur River Mine that will increase annual production to an average of 380,000 tonnes of zinc in conventional concentrate from 2014;
- We achieved further substantial increases in our copper Mineral Resources, mainly due to a significant 19% increase in total Mineral Resources at our Collahuasi joint venture in Chile to 9 billion tonnes; a 20% increase in total Mineral Resources at our El Pachón project in Argentina to 3.3 billion tonnes; and a 27% increase in total Mineral Resources at our new Antapaccay mine in Peru to over 1 billion tonnes; and
- Xstrata’s shareholders approved the proposed merger between Glencore and Xstrata, subject to the necessary regulatory approvals being received.