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Anglo American gets big assist from iron ore, PGM

(Kitco News) – A near doubling in margins for both iron ore and PGM divisions at Anglo American (LON:AAL) helped the diversified South African miner close the year up 8% to $2.75 earnings per share.

The company highlighted an EBITDA of $10.0 billion, a 9% increase, and $2.3 billion of attributable free cash flow.

The PGMs were on a tear through 2019 on the back of tightened automobile regulations and generally higher precious metal prices. Iron ore prices were also up due to Vale’s production drop.

Anglo American Underlying Group EBITDA

“The average realised FOB iron ore price for Kumba’s iron ore increased by 35%, outperforming the market index owing to its higher iron content and relatively high proportion of lump ore. The price achieved for the PGMs basket increased by 27%, largely due to palladium and rhodium, which recorded increases of 48% and 73% respectively. The positive impact was partly offset by decreases in the realised prices for export thermal coal (30%), metallurgical coal (12%), and copper (4%),” wrote the company.

The diamond business was terrible, with revenue from Anglo’s subsidiary, De Beers, dropping 45%. The company blamed shifting consumer trends for the fall.

Commenting on the results, CEO Mark Cutifani said the company benefited from product diversification “…with strong precious metals and iron ore prices offsetting weakness in diamonds and coal.”