January 25, 2018 / 8:18 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Anglo American's 2017 output rises, but copper flat

* Copper production flat, diamond output up 22 percent

* Anglo CEO cites productivity gains for rise

* Copper-focused Kaz Minerals says output rose by 80 pct (Adds details throughout )

LONDON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Anglo American's 2017 output rose by 5 percent due to improved productivity and the ramp-up of a new diamond mine in Canada, it said on Thursday, but its copper output was flat.

Many miners have been struggling to maintain output as ore bodies have aged and exploration budgets collapsed as a result of the commodity markets downturn of 2015-16.

Copper is particularly in demand because of its usefulness for both old and new technology, such as electric vehicles.

Anglo's Platinum and palladium, iron ore and coking coal output fell between 4 and 8 percent in the fourth quarter and were flat or higher for the full year.

But the ramp-up of its Gahcho Kue mine in Canada increased Anglo's diamond production by 22 percent.

Anglo Chief Executive Mark Cutifani said in a statement that the rise in overall output "was achieved despite the removal of unprofitable and higher cost platinum and metallurgical coal".

Copper prices have rallied by more than 50 percent since the lows of late 2015/early 2016.

Also on Thursday, copper-focused Kaz Minerals announced an 80 percent increase in output as it ramped up production in Kazakstan. (Reporting by Barbara Lewis and Peter Hobson; editing by Jason Neely and Alexander Smith)

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