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TOP NEWS: Glencore annual production mostly down in tune with guidance

1st Feb 2024 08:11

(Alliance News) - Glencore PLC on Thursday said annual production declined at all its operations, barring coal and gold, but the diversified miner and commodities trader insisted its performance was in line with its expectations.

Barr, Switzerland-based Glencore said copper production fell by 4.5% to 1.01 million tonnes in 2023 from 1.06 million tonnes in 2022, primarily reflecting the sale of Cobar in Australia in June 2023 and lower copper by-product production outside Glenore's copper department.

But coal output was up 3.3% to 113.6 million tonnes from 110.0 million tonnes, getting a boost from higher productivity in South Africa and easing external factors that constrain capacity, such as wet weather and blockades, Glencore said.

Ferrochrome production slumped 22% to 1.16 million tonnes from 1.49 million tonnes. The company attributed this decline to planned additional smelter downtime during the three-month high electricity demand winter season, a period of elevated power prices.

In zinc, production was 2.1% lower at 918,500 tonnes from 938,500 tonnes, dragged down by the 2022 disposals of South American zinc operations and the closure of Matagami mine in Canada.

Lead production fell 4.6% to 182,700 from 191,600, while nickel output dropped 9.2% to 97,600 tonnes from 107,500 tonnes, missing guidance of 102,000 tonnes.

Gold production, however, rose 13% to 747,000 ounces from 661,000, while silver declined 16% to 20,011 ounces from 23,750 ounces.

Cobalt output decreased 5.7% to 41,300 tonnes from 43,800 tonnes, mainly due to feed plan adjustments at Mutanda mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the context of an oversupplied market.

Chief Executive Officer Gary Nagle said the overall 2023 production was in line with its earlier revised guidance, with stronger second half volumes delivered across key commodities, including copper, zinc, nickel and coal.

For 2024, Glencore guides for copper production of between 950,000 and 1.01 million tonnes.

Coal output for 2024 is forecast at between 105 million and 115 million tonnes.

Full-year guidance for ferrochrome is between 1.1 million and 1.2 million tonnes. Cobalt output is expected at between 35,000 and 40,000 tonnes.

Annual Zinc production is likely to range between 900,000 and 950,000 tonnes, while that of nickel is projected at between 80,000 and 90,000 tonnes.

Glencore expects to report adjusted earnings before interest and tax of about USD3.5 billion in 2023 for its Marketing division, which is its commodities trading arm. It said the full-year result was in line with the run rate set in the first half of the year.

Shares in Glencore were down 0.8% at 417.30 pence per share on Thursday morning in London. In Johannesburg, shares were down 2.0% to ZAR98.79.

By Artwell Dlamini, Alliance News reporter

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