In the third quarter, Glencore, the Anglo-Swiss commodity miner, experienced a decline in production across all metals, except for gold and coal. Notably, nickel and ferrochrome saw double-digit drops. However, the company stated that its output of key metals, including copper, coal, and zinc, remained in line with expectations. Let’s take a closer look at the details:
Glencore’s own sourced copper production totaled 735,800 tons, marking a 5% decrease compared to the same period in 2022. This decline can be attributed to the sale of Cobar mine in Australia in June 2023 and lower copper by-product production outside the copper department.
The company’s own sourced cobalt production of 32,500 tons remained consistent with the corresponding period in 2022.
Glencore’s own sourced zinc production amounted to 672,100 tons, witnessing a decrease of 4% (27,500 tons) from the comparable 2022 period. This decline mainly stems from the disposal of South American zinc operations (23,600 tons) in 2022 and the closure of Matagami mine in Canada (17,300 tons). However, stronger production from Kazzinc (Zhairem) mine in Kazakhstan and Antamina mine in Peru partially offset these declines.
In terms of nickel production, Glencore experienced a significant drop during the third quarter without specifying precise figures.
These production figures provide insights into Glencore’s performance for the mentioned metals in the third quarter. Despite the overall declines witnessed, the company remained optimistic about its copper, cobalt, and zinc outputs.
Own sourced nickel production for the period was 68,400 tons, which was 13,200 tons (16%) lower than the same period in 2022. This decline primarily resulted from a higher proportion of third-party production in the integrated nickel operations. This shift was largely driven by the strike at the Raglan mine in Canada in 2022.
The attributable ferrochrome production was 873,000 tons, reflecting a decrease of 237,000 tons (21%) compared to the corresponding period in 2022. This decline can be attributed mainly to the planned additional smelter offline days during the 3-month high electricity demand winter season. The decision to reduce production during this period was prompted by elevated power prices.
Coal production for the period reached a total of 83.9 million tons, remaining relatively stable compared to the same period in 2022.
Nickel: The production forecast for nickel is expected to decrease by 10kt (9%) compared to the previous estimates. This revision is influenced by several factors, including the prolonged recovery period following the extended strike action at the Raglan mine in 2022, maintenance outages at the Sudbury smelter, and a lower full-year projection for the Koniambo mine in New Caledonia.
Ferrochrome: The production outlook for ferrochrome anticipates a decline of 110kt (8%) in the second half of 2023. This decrease is primarily attributed to additional smelter offline days and further curtailments implemented in response to the prevailing market conditions for ferrochrome. However, it is important to note that the full-year chrome ore production is anticipated to be only slightly below the levels observed in 2022.