Anglo American records production of 48.9 million tonnes (Mt) of iron ore in 2014, which is said to exceed the company’s anticipated output of 45Mt to 46Mt.

According to the company, this includes 688,000t from its Minas-Rio project in Brazil, which shipped its first consignment in October, as well as a 14% increase in production from its Kumba unit.

The latest figures from the Brazilian project come as prices drop more than two-thirds since reaching a peak in 2011.

"Anglo American expects to record certain non-cash impairment charges."

After making an original estimate of $2.6bn and writing down $4bn of the asset’s value in 2013, the Anglo American raised capital expenditure for Minas-Rio to $8.8bn.

Anglo American said: "Given the sharply lower commodity price environment, particularly for the bulk commodities, Anglo American expects to record certain non-cash impairment charges."

During the fourth-quarter, the company’s copper production declined 18% to 174,800t from the same period the previous year.

In 2014, the site produced 748,100t, exceeding the forecast of 745,000t. Export metallurgical coal rose to 4.9Mt, an increase of 4% over the previous year.

De Beers, the company’s diamond producing unit, reported an 8% decline in fourth-quarter production to 8.4 million carats.

The unit has operations in Southern Africa and Canada.