Diversified miner Glencore on Thursday reported that its production for the first quarter was largely in line with expectations across all commodity groups and that its full-year guidance remains unchanged.
Copper production for the quarter was 345 400 t, 21 300 t higher than that produced in the first quarter of 2017.
This reflects the December commissioning of phase one of the whole ore leach project at subsidiary Katanga Mining’s copper operations, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This was partly offset by the impact of maintenance at the Mount Isa smelter, in Australia, and the Argentinean Alumbrera mine’s expected decline as it moves towards the end of its mine life.
Zinc production, meanwhile, decreased by 7% year-on-year to 242 700 t for the first quarter, mainly as a result of the disposal of the Rosh Pinah mine, in Namibia, and the Perkoa mine, in Burkina Faso, to Canadian miner Trevali Mining in August last year.
“Adjusting for such, production was in line,” the company stated.
Nickel production of 30 100 t for the first quarter was 21% higher year-on-year, reflecting the continuing stabilisation and ramp-up of the processing plant at Koniambo, in New Caledonia, where both production lines are now operational.
The company also recorded stronger performances at the Murrin nickel/cobalt mine, in Australia, as well as at the Integrated Nickel Operations, in Canada.
Glencore’s attributable ferrochrome production of 409 000 t for the quarter was 7% lower year-on-year, mainly reflecting furnace downtime and challenges with the subsequent restart.
Coal production of 30.7-million tonnes for the quarter was in line with that produced in the first quarter of 2017, reflecting a stronger contribution from the Australian thermal portfolio, offset by weather-related reduction at the Prodeco mine, in Colombia.
The company’s unchanged coal production guidance includes the largely offsetting impacts of Glencore’s acquisition of Rio Tinto’s 82% interest in the Hail Creek mine, in Australia, and lower production from Prodeco in 2018, before returning to higher levels in 2019.
Analysts from BMO Capital Markets commented in a note on Thursday that Glencore maintaining its full-year production guidance implies that the group’s output will rebalance over the rest of this year.
– Mining Weekly