LONDON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Global miner Anglo American said on Friday its large Minas Rio project was on track to deliver iron ore by the end of the year, as it posted a forecast-beating increase in 2013 operating profit.
Anglo registered a 6 percent rise in underlying operating profit to $6.6 billion, ahead of analyst forecasts. Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had forecast $5.6 billion, compared to the company-provided consensus of $6.3 billion.
Underlying earnings fell 7 percent to $2.7 billion.
Anglo said its Minas Rio iron ore project in Brazil was on track to deliver its first iron ore shipment by the end of 2014 and the project's planned overall spending cost was unchanged from its latest presentation in November at $8.8 billion.
Anglo, the smallest of the major diversified miners,has embarked on an overhaul plan under chief executive Mark Cutifani, after years of sector-lagging returns.
Anglo American's iron ore division Kumba, by far the largest contributor to Anglo's profits, posted earlier this week a 24 percent jump in underlying full-year earnings, recovering from a wave of illegal strikes which hit South Africa's mining sector in 2012.
Industrial action, particularly in platinum, remains a serious concern for Anglo though.
Its platinum division Amplats swung back to full-profit in 2013 but its recovery is threatened by fresh labour unrest across South Africa's platinum belt.