Glencore records Australian production falls

Source: Mount Isa Mines

Glencore has revealed year-on-year (YoY) reductions in production at the company’s Australian operations.

The company’s copper production across the Mount Isa, Ernest Henry and Townsville mines in Queensland dropped from 91,000 tonnes (t) in first half 2017 to 62,000t in 2018, a 32 per cent drop. However, copper in concentrates was 16 per cent higher at 29,500t.

Glencore previously saw a 23 per cent drop to 47,800t in its second quarter report published in May, which it blamed on downtime caused by maintenance of the smelter at its Mount Isa operations.

The company’s Australian gold production fell from 38,000 ounces (oz) to 24,000oz in the same period for a 37 per cent reduction, while silver was down 17 per cent to 616,000oz.

Its coal production saw a minor YoY increase of about 1 per cent to 62 million tonnes (Mt). When broken down by coal type, Australian coking coal was up by almost the same percentage as Australian semi-soft coal was down, 26 per cent up and 27 per cent down respectively.

Conversely, Glencore has seen significant increases in cobalt and nickel production from its African operations.

The ramp-up of operations at Katanga Mining’s Katanga copper-cobalt operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) — 74.4 per cent owned by Glencore — was attributed by the company as the reason for its sizeable 31 per cent increase in cobalt production and modest 8 per cent increase in copper production from first half 2017 to first half 2018.

Glencore’s production at its African operations saw a large spike in general: production across the Katanga, Mutanda and Mopani projects was 75 per cent higher to 194,600t

The vast majority of the company’s cobalt output (14,800t out of of 16,700t) came from the company’s African operations. Nickel production also fared well, up 11,000t to 62,200t, a YoY increase of 21 per cent.

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