In 2018, Glencore’s copper production increased by 12 percent, while cobalt production rose 44 percent. This was boosted by the restart of Katanga’s processing operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Glencore, a London-listed miner and commodities trader, posted record half-year earnings in October and has paid higher costs and received lower prices for cobalt and other byproducts. The company said copper production rose by 116,600 tons to 1,063,100 tons, while cobalt output jumped 8,700 tons to 28,500 tons.
Anglo American, Glencore’s rival, noted that copper production rose 17 percent. The company said this was made possible by an overall increase in productivity, as each employee has been 5 percent more productive in 2018 than in 2017. However other major miners reporting this month, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, have signalled lower output in copper.
According to a United States Justice Department Investigation, Glencore’s share price, which has underperformed compared to other top global miners, has also been pressured by higher costs in the Democratic Republic of Congo because of a recent new mining code.
The company said its full-year marketing guidance would come in at the top half of its $2.2 billion to $3.2 billion long-term range.