Glencore’s full-year 2018 production report has highlighted an 11% year-on-year increase in copper output and a 54% increase in cobalt.
Own sourced copper production of 1,453,700t was 144,000t (11%) higher than in 2017, mainly reflecting the restart of Katanga’s processing operations in late 2017, partly offset by the completion of open-pit mining at Alumbrera. Own sourced copper sales during 2018 were some 22,000t lower than production, due to timing of shipments.
Cobalt production of 42,200t was 14,800t (54%) higher than in 2017, mainly relating to Katanga. However, Katanga’s current cobalt production is being temporarily stockpiled on site, pending the introduction of a long-term solution to remove excess uranium levels in such cobalt.
Own sourced zinc production of 1,068,100t was in line with 2017, which Glencore said reflected the offsetting impacts of the disposals of the African zinc assets in August 2017 and the restart of mining at Lady Loretta in mid-2018.
The miner’s own sourced nickel production of 123,800t was 14,600t (13%) higher than in 2017, contributed mainly to Koniambo running two production lines throughout the year.
Attributable coal production of 129.4 Mt was 8.8 Mt (7%) higher than in 2017, which Glencore said reflected the recovery in Australia from weather-related and industrial action disruption and the acquisitions of interests in HVO and Hail Creek, partly offset by lower production at Prodeco as equipment was reallocated to additional overburden removal and mine development activities.