Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

Australian mining company South32’s payable zinc and lead production exceeded FY2020 guidance as Cannington operations achieved higher than planned mill throughput. The mine produced 66,700mt payable zinc and 110,400mt payable lead in FY2020 against guidance of 59,000mt and 104,000mt, respectively, according to the company’s operational report.


In Q4 FY2020, alumina production at Worsley, in which South32 has 86pc share, rose by 2pc to 1.01mn mt, while production in Brazil Alumina (36pc share) increased by 10pc to 341,000mt due to improved refinery performance post the benefits of de-bottlenecking project. Production at Hillside aluminium (100pc share) output increased by 1pc to 178,000mt and Mozal Aluminium (47.1pc share) rose by 2pc to 67,000mt in Q4. South32’s total alumina production in the quarter was 1.35mn mt, while total aluminium production was flat at 245,000mt. 


At Cannington mine, payable zinc production increased by 16pc to 16,900mt due to planned higher zinc grades, while payable lead production increased by 6pc to 30,100mt in Q4. South32’s payable nickel production at Cerro Matoso mine rose by 8pc to 9,700mt in the quarter.

South32 share of production in FY2020
Alumina (kt)5,2695,0504%
Aluminium (kt)9869820%
Metallurgical coal (kt)5,5495,3504%
Payable nickel (kt)40.641.1-1%
Payable lead (kt)110.4101.49%
Payable zinc (kt)66.751.629%


Corporate update

  • * South32 updated resource estimates for the Taylor Deposit (Hermosa project) at 167mn mt, averaging 3.34pc zinc, 3.84pc lead and 71g/t silver.
  • * Disclosed estimates for the Clark Deposit (Hermosa project) at 55mn mt, averaging 2.31pc zinc, 9.08pc manganese and 78g/t silver.
  • * South32 continued with its portfolio restructuring processing gaining approvals for the sale of shareholding in South Africa Energy Coal and placed Metalloys manganese alloy smelter on temporary care and maintenance in Q4.
  • * The company focuses on maintaining the strength of its balance sheet and business by reducing capital expenditure and cost. The company suspended its on-market share buy-back program in March. Post review of the future economic viability of Metalloys and Temco smelters, South32 plans to book a pre-tax, non-cash impairment charges of approximately US$109M in FY2020 results.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.