Glencore lifts production following Lady Loretta restart

Glencore’s restart of the Lady Loretta zinc-lead mine in 2018 has helped the company improve production for both commodities in 2019.

This was the first full year back in production for Lady Loretta, which is 110 kilometres north-west of Mt Isa in Queensland, after operations were suspended in 2015.

The company achieved a 21 per cent increase in lead production to 213,300 tonnes on 2018, thanks to Lady Loretta’s resumed mining activities.

Glencore’s Australian zinc operations also saw an improvement, producing an extra 65,100 tonnes to achieve 597,600 tonnes for the 2019 financial year on the previous year’s result.

This was reflective of Lady Loretta’s full year contribution and improved processing rates at Glencore’s McArthur River mine in north-eastern Northern Territory.

Australian coking coal was also a high point for Glencore during the 2019 financial year. This culminated in a 23 per cent year-on-year increase in production to 9.2 million tonnes following the acquisition of the Hail Creek mine from Rio Tinto in 2018.

Performance at Hail Creek, along with the company’s Hunter Valley Operations (HVO) joint venture in New South Wales, has helped Glencore increase its thermal and semi-soft coal production by 9 per cent to 79.2 million tonnes.

Glencore’s Australian copper production, however, was 8 per cent lower than in 2018, due largely to weather disruptions during the first quarter of 2019 that progressively caught up over later quarters.

The Switzerland-based company produced 194,600 tonnes of copper, which contributed to a total output of 1.3 million tonnes across its Australian, African and South American assets.

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