Australian miner South32 expects increased aluminum and nickel production in FY2022 (ending June 30, 2022) while its zinc output will suffer before rebounding in FY2023.
The company stated in its FY2021 (ended June 30, 2021) earnings report that it expects annual aluminum output to increase to 993,000mt in FY2022 compared with 982,000mt in FY2021 due to higher production at its Mozal Aluminum unit, which recently upgraded its smelter. The miner is studying the feasibility of installing the same technology upgrade at its Hillside facility.
South32 also expects its nickel output to reach 43,800mt in FY2022, compared with 40,600mt in FY2021, owing to a furnace upgrade and higher recovery grades.
Zinc equivalent concentrate production is likely to reduce to 278,300mt in FY2022 compared with 319,000mt in the previous fiscal as the company is transitioning to a new transport system at its Cannington facility, starting in Q4 FY2022. However, after completing the switch, production is expected to resume at the rate of 313,900mt in FY2023.
During FY2021, South32’s aluminum production was stable at 982,000mt while zinc concentrate production rose by 14pc to 319,000mt compared with the previous fiscal. Nickel production fell by 17pc to 34,100mt from 40,600mt in the same period.
In FY2021, the miner’s underlying EBITDA rose 32pc to $1.6bn, compared with the prior fiscal. However, South32’s net income fell to a loss of $195mn in the fiscal, compared with a net loss of $65mn in FY2020.