Australian metals miner South32 Limited updated investors on progress during the closing quarter of fiscal year 2019 yesterday. Overall alumina production in the June quarter rose by 9 percent, with Worsley Alumina leading the charge with a 12-percent jump in production.
South32 reported a 1-percent increase of production for the year at Worsley Alumina, ending the fiscal year with a total production of 3.79 million metric tons of alumina. An uplift in calciner availability prompted the 12-percent increase on the quarter, allowing the site to refine a total of 996 thousand metric tons of alumina.
Altogether, South32 refined 1,307 thousand metric tons in the June quarter, a 9-percent increase over the prior quarter. Aluminium production stood at 245 thousand metric tons, up by 1 percent on the quarter.
For the fiscal year, South32 refined 5,050 thousand metric tons of alumina and smelted 982 thousand metric tons of aluminium, with both totals remaining essentially flat from the prior year. Brazil Alumina refined 1,285 thousand metric tons, which was a 2-percent decline on the year. Meanwhile Hillside Aluminium smelted 720 thousand metric tons of aluminium and Mozal Aluminium smelted 269 thousand metric tons of aluminium, both totals representing a 1-percent reduction from the previous year.
“We had a strong finish to the year, with revenue equivalent production growing 10 per cent in the quarter and 3 per cent for the year,” boasted South32 president Graham Kerr.
“We achieved record annual production at Hillside Aluminium, increased production at Illawarra Metallurgical Coal by 57 per cent and delivered 5.5 million tonnes of manganese ore into a favourable market. We also continued to benefit from strong prices for our core commodities during the year, distributing US$657 million in dividends to shareholders and allocating US$281 million to our on-market buy-back. At year end we had completed US$986 million of our approved US$1 billion capital management program.”
Based in Perth, Western Australia, South32 began in 2015 as a spin-off of BHP Billiton. The firm operates mines in Australia and South Africa, and markets aluminium, manganese, silver, zinc, lead, nickel, coking coal, and thermal coal.