- Newly commissioned expansions and improved productivity delivered stronger second quarter production for Xstrata in coal, copper, nickel, zinc and lead compared to the first three months of 2012.

Total mined copper production, up by 7% quarter-on-quarter, included volumes from the Antamina expansion which successfully commissioned in March. The company continues its transition to new mines and expansions that will herald the start of increased copper production from the second half of the year.

Thermal coal volumes increased across Australia, South Africa and Colombia, benefiting from new mines and improved productivity at existing operations compared to the same period last year.

Mined nickel and ferro-nickel production rose by 5% compared to first half of 2011, following improved volumes and higher grades at Xstrata's Canadian operations and a full six-month contribution from the Falcondo ferronickel operation.

A total of ten major approved growth projects will reach commissioning in 2012: Antamina (already commissioned), Antapaccay, Lomas Bayas, Mount Margaret (copper), Ravensworth North and Ulan open cut (coal), Koniambo (nickel), Tswelopele (ferrochrome pelletising plant) and Lady Loretta and George Fisher (zinc).

The commissioning of tier one growth projects will reduce overall operating costs and improve the quality and robustness of the portfolio throughout the commodity cycle.

At 11:49am: [LON:XTA] Xstrata share price was +13p at 857.4p

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