Glencore reports mixed bag of half-year production results

Glencore’s CEO Gary Nagle has described the diversified mining giant’s production profile in the six months to June 30 as ‘mixed’, with five commodities up and five down during the period.

The company’s own sourced copper output fell by 15% to 510,200 tonnes in H122, compared with 597,900 in the same period of 2021. Ongoing geotechnical constraints at the Katanga mine in the DRC contributed to the declining output, according to Glencore, along with the sales of the Ernest Henry copper-gold mine in Queensland and lower copper units produced within its zinc business.

As a result of continuing geotechnical constraints on the open pit Katanga mine, London-listed Glencore has cut its full-year copper guidance to 1,060,000 tonnes from 1,110,000 tonnes.

However, battery material cobalt, which is produced as a by-product from Glencore’s copper mines in the DRC, output increased by 40% to 20,700 tonnes in the period and the firm’s own sourced nickel increased by 21% to 57,800 tonnes in the first half.

Another area of strength was Glencore’s thermal coal portfolio. The company, which has so far rebuffed shareholder pressure to exit its fossil fuel business, produced 55.4 million tonnes of coal in the period – a 14% increase on the previous half-year.

“Our financial performance (both industrial and marketing) was very strong during the period, particularly on account of buoyant energy markets, which will be a feature in the release of next week’s Half-Year Report,” Nagle said in the production report released today.

Commenting on the death of a worker at one of Glencore’s operations, Nagle said: “We continue to believe that we can and must eliminate all fatalities, and we will continue to drive the management of safety across the business to achieve this.”