South Africa’s Kumba Iron Ore reported a 4 per cent increase in overall production in the first quarter that ended March 31, 2018.

In a press release, Anglo American’s (LON:AAL) subsidiary revealed that the growth was driven entirely by a 26 per cent increase at its Kolomela iron-ore mine, situated near Postmasburg town. The asset supplied 3.5 million tonnes of mineral during the first three months of the year.

Such positive results helped offset lower yields from Kumba’s flagship Sishen mine, whose output was down 5 per cent to 7.3-million tonnes compared with the same quarter of 2017. “This was primarily driven by lower DMS plant production due to short-term mining feedstock constraints which were partially offset by higher yields from both the DMS and JIG plants,” the media statement reads.

A derailment on the railway line from Sishen to the Saldanha port also had a negative impact, slashing export sales by 1 per cent to 9.9 million tonnes below the Q1 2017 level. Compared to the previous quarter, sales were down by 12 per cent.

Despite the accident, management remains optimistic. “Kumba is working closely with Transnet to mitigate derailments and currently expects to meet full-year guidance with total sales of 44–45Mt. Total finished product stock is 4.6Mt, compared to 4.3Mt as at 31 December 2017,” the brief states.

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