Anglo American’s Kolomela mine—a new 9 million mt/y iron ore operation in South Africa’s Northern Cape—opened five months ahead of schedule, on budget and has shipped its first product from the port of Saldanha to customers in China. “The first shipment of 100,000 mt of Kolomela lump ore left the Port of Saldanha December 19, 2011, on its journey to the port of Qingdao in China, from where it will be sold to Kumba’s existing customers,” said Chris Griffith, CEO of Anglo American’s Kumba Iron Ore business. “This shipment is a significant milestone towards achieving the production ramp-up schedule of 4 to 5 million mt in 2012 and the expectation of reaching full production of 9 million mt/y in 2013. The commissioning of the Kolomela project is in line with our growth strategy of ramping our South African production up to 70 million mt/y by 2019.”

“The commissioning of Kolomela five months ahead of schedule is a remarkable achievement and caps a year of successful major project delivery for Anglo American,” said Cynthia Carroll, chief executive of Anglo American. “Three of our four major projects are now ramping up to produce significant near term volume growth at highly competitive operating costs and capital intensity ratios. Our focus now is on achieving safe and reliable nameplate capacities across these three new operations, on continuing to progress our Minas-Rio iron ore project in Brazil—which with Kolomela and Sishen will enable us to present customers with product optionality from different geographies—and on advancing our other approved and pre-approval projects, such as Grosvenor in Australia and Quellaveco in Peru.”