Fourth quarter aluminium performance down at Eurasian Natural Resources

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LONDON (ShareCast) - FTSE 100 (FTSE: ^FTSE - news) -listed metal mining company Eurasian Natural Resources has acknowledged that its aluminium division operated below capacity in the fourth quarter of the year, whilst production of saleable copper declined against the corresponding period in the previous year.

In the three months ended December 31st, the group reported that bauxite extraction had decreased 17.5% and alumina production had contracted 12.4% against the fourth quarter of 2011 results.

Aluminium marginally decreased by 1.6% compared to quarter four 2011 results while maintaining annual production volume at the 2011 levels.

Production of saleable copper in the fourth quarter was 7,756 tonnes, representing a 4.0% decrease when compared to the corresponding period in 2011.

Saleable cobalt production also fell 28.4% to 2,042 tonnes versus the fourth quarter in 2011. The company stated that this had been caused by an increase of internal consumption at Chambishi and a decrease in the availability of oxide ore.

But while the production of copper and aluminium declined, the majority of Eurasian Natural Resources' business areas saw growth in production and operating performance.

The ferroalloys and iron ore divisions operated at full available capacity for the quarter while the company reported that its energy division operated at full available capacity for electricity, coal and special coke production.

Overall gross ferrochrome production increased by 6.8% compared to the fourth quarter in 2011, with an 8.7% increase in high-carbon ferrochrome.

Total (NYSE: TOT - news) saleable ferroalloys production for the quarter increased 8.9% on the fourth quarter of 2011. Saleable high-carbon ferrochrome production increased 9.3%.

Felix Vulis, Chief Executive Officer of Eurasian Natural Resources, said: "In 2012, we achieved the highest annual production volumes since the IPO for saleable ferroalloys, electricity and coal, even before the addition of 5.6m tonnes of coal from Shubarkol.

"Our iron ore division overcame recent technological issues to deliver its best quarter in 2.5 years in terms of saleable product. Elsewhere, alumina experienced lower output due to production problems that have now been rectified. In the fourth quarter of 2012, copper volumes suffered from disruption in power supply, however, achieved significant production increase on 2011 full year level. We anticipate delivering a strong operational performance across the group in 2013."

MF