Zug, Switzerland — MININGREVIEW.COM — 03 February 2010 – Swiss-based, diversified mining group Xstrata Plc has posted record annual production of thermal coal, mined nickel, zinc in concentrate and lead metal in 2009.
Revealing this here in its production report for the 12 months ended 31 December 2009, the company also confirmed stronger second half volumes of chrome, platinum, copper, semi-soft and coking coal with a significant increase in fourth quarter volumes across almost all commodities compared to the third quarter.
The report showed that total consolidated coal production increased by 11% to 95.2 million tonnes in 2009, with thermal and semi-soft coal up 13% and 17% respectively compared to 2008.
Total thermal coal volumes rose to 82.6 million tonnes.
Total mined nickel production increased to 57 052 tonnes “’ 5% higher than in 2008 “’ as increased head grades and volumes from Raglan, significantly higher volumes from Xstrata Nickel Australasia and initial feed from the Nickel Rim South operation more than offset the impact of the restructuring of the Sudbury operations.
Zinc in concentrate production increased by 20% to 1 032 755 tonnes compared to 2008, as a result of expansions and restructuring at the Australian operations, the first full year of production at Perseverance mine, increased volumes at Brunswick mine and higher zinc production at the Antamina copper-zinc operation.
The report went on to reveal that ferrochrome production had decreased by 30% in 2009 compared to the prior year, as a result of the Xstrata-Merafe chrome venture’s curtailment of up to 80% of ferrochrome production capacity in late 2008 and early 2009 in response to the rapid decline in market conditions.
Total mined copper production decreased by 5% to 906 898 tonnes in 2009 compared to the previous year, mainly due to a 75 000 tonne reduction in copper production at Ernest Henry and lower output at Alumbrera and Antamina
Gold production decreased by 27% to 502 967 ounces in 2009 compared to the previous year, mainly due to lower grades and recoveries at Alumbrera and significantly lower gold production at Ernest Henry.