Atlas Iron beats full-year production guidance

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Australia’s Atlas Iron has announced that it has topped its full-year production guidance after shipping a record 3.1Mt (metric tonnes) in the June 2014 Quarter.

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According to the ASX announcement by Atlas Iron, a record 10.9Mt (WMT) had been shipped for the year to 30 June 2014, a 47% increase on the previous corresponding period.

The full-year result includes 9.6Mt of Standard Fines and 1.3Mt of Value Fines, highlighting the strong production performance within Atlas’ Standard Fines category during the second half and in particular during the June 2014 quarter. Atlas previously provided production guidance for financial year (FY) 2014 of 9 to 9.3Mt of Standard Fines and 1.2 to 1.4Mt of Value Fines.

The result from the June 2014 quarter showed that Atlas Iron has achieved its target of hitting production rate of 12Mtpa in FY2014.

“These strong quarterly and annual production results again demonstrate Atlas’ ability to operate existing projects efficiently while at the same time developing new mines,” Atlas Managing Director Ken Brinsden said.

“We believe the combination of our existing operations, our resource base and our outstanding pipeline of growth options puts us in an enviable position among our peer group.”

He said the iron ore market has slowed down as a result of the increase in production by the major miners over a relatively short period, which, combined with current credit constraints in China, had led to lower headline prices for the benchmark 62% Fe product and increased discounts for product of Atlas’ nature over the second half, and in particular the June 2014 quarter.

“We are confident that the supply and demand balance for iron ore and the ‘value–in-use’ differential between products of differing grades, means both price and product discounts have likely overshot their natural range. While it is good to see some stability emerge in iron ore markets in recent weeks, we will continue to focus on those matters we can control,” he added.