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South32 managed to deliver another production record at its Mozal Aluminium operation in the six months to December 31, while South Africa Aluminium remained on track to increase production in the year ahead, despite a November 2017 electric arc incident which impacted on 36 pots.
“A continuation of higher-cost trucking and the sale of lower-quality fines products enabled us to take advantage of favourable market conditions while the Wessels central block, which was successfully commissioned in the March 2017 quarter, also operated at maximum capacity ahead of planned maintenance in the June 2018 quarter,” CEO Graham Kerr outlined in a statement.
Mozal Aluminium’s saleable production increased by 1% to a record 137 000 t in the six months to December 31, as the smelter continued to operate at its maximum technical capability. Aluminium sales also increased by 10% as the inventory position returned to more normal levels; however, the timing of those sales ensured that the aluminium working capital position remained elevated. Full-year production guidance remains unchanged at 269 000 t.
South Africa Aluminium’s saleable production also increased by 1% to 358 000 t. The pots are being progressively returned to service during the current quarter. A temporary increase in finished goods inventory related to South32’s shipping schedule is also expected to unwind in the current quarter.