Glencore zinc and nickel output drops

Glencore zinc and nickel output down

Precious metals smelter workers at Glencore's Kazzinc operations: Source: VisMedia

Swiss commodities giant Glencore said Wednesday it produced more copper, coal and oil in the first six months of 2014 than the same period a year ago, but nickel and zinc output dropped on mine closures and reserve depletion.

The world's fourth-largest mining company following the takeover of Xstrata last year said first-half copper production rose 13% to 741,000 tonnes year on year, due to a ramp-up at its Mutanda mine in Congo and a better performance from its massive Collahuasi mine in Chile.

Compared to the previous half-year production fell by 12% however thanks to lower grades in Chile and maintenance shutdowns at Mopani in Zambia, Australia's Mount Isa mine and Collahuasi.

Glencore, headquartered-in Baar, also said the sale of Las Bambas completed at the end of July provided the company proceeds, net of tax, of approximately $6.5 billion, including the reimbursement of capital expenditure and other project costs incurred since 1 January 2014.

Las Bambas, bought by a Chinese group, is set to enter production next year and at 400,000 tonnes of copper as well as significant amounts of silver and gold.

SEE ALSO: Chinese M&A: Watch out for Las Bambas effect

Own sourced zinc production was 650,400 tonnes, down 11%, primarily due to Perseverance and Brunswick mines having depleted their reserves in June 2013.

Sequential half-yearly production was broadly in line, reflecting Perkoa ramp-up, largely offsetting mine sequencing lower grades at Antamina and "some opportunistic favouring of 3rd party feed at Kazzinc," the company said in a statement.

Own sourced nickel production was 49,100 tonnes, down 8%, reflecting the Sinclair and Cosmos mines' mothballing in Australia and after putting the Falcondo mine in the Dominican Republic on care and maintenance.

Sequential half-yearly production was up 8%, due to higher production at INO in Canada's Sudbury mining district and the continued ramp-up at Koniambo in New Caledonia.

Ferrochrome production was 652,000 tonnes, up 16%, reflecting increased capacity in South Africa.

Coal output rose 5% to 71.2 million tonnes, with an expansion at its Australian mines mitigating some the impact of a 32–day strike at its Cerrejón mine in Colombia.

Glencore's recent $1.6 billion acquisition of a Chad-focused oil company, Caracal, helped boost crude production by 41% to 14 million barrels.