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28 Jan 2021 | 08:14

Anglo American lowers 2021 diamond production guidance

(Sharecast News) - Mining firm Anglo American lowered its diamond production guidance for 2021 on Thursday as a result of operational challenged stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic. The FTSE 100-listed company's De Beers unit now expects to produce between 32.0m and 34.0m carats in the current year, down from previous estimates of 33.0m-35.0m carats as the coronavirus continued to disrupt global supply chains and forced the subsidiary into restructuring its business.

Output in the fourth quarter dipped 14%, while 2020 production was down 18% year-on-year at 25.1m carats.

As far as copper, platinum group metals and coal was concerned, Anglo American reiterated all output targets and noted that it ran at 95% of 2019 rates in the second half of the year.

Copper production grew 6% to 168,000 tonnes in the fourth quarter, while platinum group metals slid 7% and iron ore dropped 11%.

Chief executive Mark Cutifani said: "The strong performance recovery in the second half continued through the fourth quarter, following the Covid-19 disruptions earlier in the year.

"As we begin 2021, we are continuing to see positive demand for rough diamonds, supported by consumer demand for diamond jewellery in the holiday selling season. While it is still too early to signal a strong and sustained recovery, the resilience in demand in spite of ongoing Covid-19 impacts is very encouraging."

As of 0835 GMT, Anglo American shares were up 0.91% at 2,376.0p.
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