Kumba Iron Ore is well on the road to recovery after 2013 strikes

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Africa’s largest iron ore producer posted solid production and sales figures for Q4 2013 as it recovered from previous labour disruption.

Kumba’s total production increased by 25 per cent for the period to 11.3 million tonnes compared to the fourth quarter in 2012 (Q4 2012).

Sishen Mine’s production showed a significant increase by 39 per cent, indicating a solid recovery following the impact of the unprotected strike in 2012. The Sishen pit however still suffers from constraints, causing supply shortages.

Kumba Iron Ore [DATA KIO:KUMBA IRON ORE LTD.], a member of the Anglo American group, stated that plans were being implemented to address the pit constraints.

“A production recovery plan to address the current pit constraints and a longer term operational optimisation strategy is being implemented,” said the company in a statement.

Their Kolomela Mine produced 2.7 million tonnes, a marginal 2 per cent decrease, indicating a stable performance despite undergoing planned maintenance stoppages.

“Production exceeded monthly design capacity for most of the year and reached a new record level during October 2013. Technical studies have confirmed the mine’s capacity to sustain production at 10 million tonnes per annum for the life of mine, 1 million tonnes per annum above its original design capacity,” continued the statement.  

Production at their Thabazimbi Mine however decreased by 17 per cent compared to Q4 2012 and to 0.2 million tonnes.

Kumba however stated that the a sales agreement to purchase iron ore between Sishen Iron Ore Company (SIOC) and ArcelorMittal South Africa effective from 1 January 2014 may extend the life of Thabazimbi mine through the introduction of low grade beneficiation technologies.   

Total export sales volumes hiked up 6 per cent to 9.5 million tonnes for the same period while domestic sales volumes increased 57 per cent.