[miningmx.com] — KUMBA Iron Ore on Thursday reported a production increase of 4% year-on-year to 11.2 million tonnes (Mt) for the December quarter, aided by the contribution of the newly commissioned Kolomela mine.
Production from Sishen was lower due to feedstock constraints at the mine’s dense media separation plant.
Total export sales volume of 9.6Mt for the quarter reflected an increase of 7% year-on-year with 37.1Mt sold during 2011. Domestic sales of 1.2Mt declined by 28% for the quarter, due to reduced off take from ArcelorMittal South Africa Limited (Amsa).
“Excellent progress was made at Kolomela mine, which was brought into production five months ahead of schedule. The plant delivered 1.2Mt during the fourth quarter, bringing total production for 2011 to 1.5Mt, with first ore shipped from the Port of Saldanha in December 2011. Kolomela mine is ramping up well and is on track to produce between 4Mt and 5Mt in 2012 before producing at full design capacity of 9Mtpa in 2013,” the group said.
Sishen mine’s production decreased by 4% year-on-year to 9.8Mt and by 6% quarter-on-quarter. Production from the mine’s DMS plant was impacted by mining feedstock constraints. Sishen mine proactively supplemented the production by temporarily adjusting the jig plant ore quality in order to operate at above design capacity.
“Total export sales volume of 9.6Mt increased by 7% year-on-year as Sishen mine’s stock was used to supplement production. Finished product stockpile levels as at 31 December 2011 was 5.2Mt at Sishen mine, Kolomela mine, and Saldanha and Qingdao ports, up 0.7Mt from 4.5Mt at 30 September 2011.