GLENCORE: Ferroalloys experienced structurally worsening environment

Glencore has delivered an overall strong first-half operating performance amid the unprecedented challenges presented by Covid-19. “Although some of our industrial operations were temporarily suspended in line with national and regional guidance, or where our risk assessment determined a suspension was appropriate, the majority of our assets continued to operate relatively normally. I am particularly pleased to report a strong operational performance at Katanga, with its ramp-up on track to achieve design capacity by the end of the year,” said Glencore Chief Executive Officer, Ivan Glasenberg.

“Our Marketing business has also risen to the challenge, delivering robust counter-cyclical earnings. A very strong first-half performance allows us to now raise our full year 2020 EBIT expectations to the top end of our $2.2-$3.2 billion guidance range.”

FERROCHROME OPERATIONAL UPDATE

The Ferroalloys business has for some time experienced a structurally worsening competitive environment across the South African ferrochrome industry, including via substantial electricity price increases.

In January 2020, a consultation process was initiated on the future of the Rustenburg smelter, and in June 2020, a further process commenced across the entire business, to seek a more competitive operating cost structure. This is an ongoing process with all alternatives being considered.

Attributable ferrochrome production of 466,000 tonnes was 333,000 tonnes (42%) lower than H1 2019, mainly reflecting the South African Covid-19 national lockdown during March/April. Smelting operations partly resumed on 1 May, with further capacity expected to be restarted towards the end of Q3.

BASE METALS PRODUCTION HIGHLIGHTS

Own sourced copper production of 588,100 tonnes was 74,900 tonnes (11%) lower than H1 2019, mainly reflecting Mutanda being on care and maintenance in the current period, expected lower grades at Antapaccay and the short-term impact of Antamina’s Covid-19 related demobilisation/remobilisation, partly offset by stronger milling throughput at Collahuasi.

Own sourced zinc production of 550,100 tonnes was in line with H1 2019, reflecting stronger grades at the Canadian mines and the various temporary Covid-19 related suspensions at Antamina and other South American operations.

Own sourced nickel production of 55,200 tonnes was in line with H1 2019, reflecting a strong period of operations at Murrin offsetting the delayed delivery of matte from the Sudbury smelter to the Nikkelverk refinery.

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