Glencore: copper production rise, cobalt output surge after Katanga restart

The miner and commodities trader has posted a rise in copper production this year, with cobalt output soaring off the back of a restart of operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Source: Bloomberg

Glencore (LON:GLEN) announced that copper production has risen by 12%, representing a 116,600 tonnes increase when compared with the same period a year ago, while Cobalt output increased by 44% after the restart of Katanga’s processing operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to the company’s third quarter (Q3) production report.

The company stressed that its full-year marketing guidance would be at the top half of its $2.2bn-$3.2bn long-term range. However, it did say that it has cut its full-year expectation for oil production by 300,000 barrels to 4.6 million barrels, after its Mangara field in Chad suffered an unplanned stoppage.

Earlier this week, rivals BHP Billiton (BHP) (LON:BLT) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) announced similar hikes in copper output during their own Q3 results, with the latter recording a 32% increase year-on-year.

Despite similar growth in copper production, BHP reported that iron ore output was down in Q3, compared with the previous quarter due to maintenance work that interrupted its mining operation in northwest Australia.

Glencore share price underperforms rivals

The London-listed mining and commodities company has seen its share price fall from around £4 in early June this year to a low of £2.86 in mid-September, with the stock hovering around the £3 level on Friday.

The slide has been driven by a rise in operating costs in the DRC, after the country introduced a new mining code that will increase royalties on minerals extracted by major mining companies.

The new code, which came into effect in March this year, has prompted Glencore and the wider mining industry to consider taking legal action against the Congolese government for imposing higher taxes.

Comparatively, its peers share price has performed better, with rivals Anglo American (LON:AAL) and BHP opening on Friday at £15.87 and £14.90, respectively.

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