GLENCORE: mixed results for half-year 2022

In Glencore’s Half-Year Production Report 2022, Chief Executive Officer, Gary Nagle wrote: “Overall production was mixed period-over-period (5 commodities up and 5 down in the table below), reflecting the Ernest Henry (copper/gold) and Bolivia (zinc) portfolio disposals, and geotechnical and processing challenges at Katanga, offset by improved cobalt, nickel and ferrochrome production levels and the additional contribution from Cerrejon, reflecting its full ownership from early January.

“Our full year production guidance remains unchanged with the exception of copper, where the ongoing geotechnical constraints relating to Katanga’s open pit and continued management of higher levels of acid-consuming ore, largely account for the reduced guidance of 1,060kt (previously 1,110kt).

“We remain focused on the health and safety of our workforce. Unfortunately we recorded the loss of one life at Glencore’s managed operations during the first half of 2022. We continue to believe that we can and must eliminate all fatalities, and we will continue to drive the management of safety across the business to achieve this. Our Total Recordable Injury Frequency rate of 2.3 incidents per million hours worked over the six months to June was 3% lower year-on-year and 14% lower over two years.

“Our financial performance (both industrial and marketing) was very strong during the period, particularly on account of buoyant energy markets, which will be a feature in the release of next week’s Half-Year Report. Allied with the strong results, particularly in marketing and mostly energy related, our net working capital has significantly increased during the period, in line with materially higher oil, gas and coal prices, and their elevated market volatilities. These factors result in a timing mismatch between the net positive fair value of physical forward contracts (which are not margined) and related derivative hedging requirements (which are margined). The various commodity exchanges have also significantly increased their initial margining requirements.”

H1 production highlights

  • Own sourced copper production of 510,200 tonnes was 87,700 tonnes (15%) lower than H1 2021 due to ongoing geotechnical constraints at Katanga (35,500 tonnes), the basis change arising from the sale of Ernest Henry in January 2022 (21,900 tonnes), Collahuasi mine sequencing (18,100 tonnes) and lower copper units produced within Glencore’s zinc business.
  • Own sourced zinc production of 480,700 tonnes was 101,000 tonnes (17%) lower than H1 2021 reflecting progressive reduction in the South American portfolio through disposals and closures (49,600 tonnes), Covid-19 related absenteeism leading to lower development rates and sequence changes at Mount Isa (34,800 tonnes) and somewhat lower Antamina production.
  • Own sourced nickel production of 57,800 tonnes was 10,100 tonnes (21%) higher than H1 2021 reflecting Koniambo operating both production lines in 2022 and Murrin stable operations compared to maintenance in base period.
  • Attributable ferrochrome production of 786,000 tonnes was 13,000 tonnes (2%) higher than H1 2021, reflecting consistent smelter performance.
  • Coal production of 55.4 million tonnes was 6.7 million tonnes (14%) higher than H1 2021, mainly reflecting higher attributable production from Cerrejón, following the acquisition in January 2022 of the remaining two-thirds interest that Glencore did not already own. On a like for like basis, overall Group production declined by 0.5 million tonnes (1%).
  • Entitlement interest oil production of 3.1 million barrels of oil equivalent was 0.6 million barrels (22%) higher than H1 2021, due to commencement of the gas phase of the Alen project in Equatorial Guinea from March 2021.

The average Newcastle coal (NEWC) settlement prices for the period was $320/t. After applying a portfolio mix adjustment of $84/t to reflect e.g. movements in the pricing of non-NEWC quality coals, coking coal margins and the lag effect of 2021’s JPU fixed-price contracts, an average thermal-equivalent realised price of c.$236/t can be applied across all coal sales volumes in H1.

Production guidance

  • Copper 1,060 kt
  • Cobalt 45 kt
  • Zinc 1,010 kt
  • Nickel 118 kt
  • Ferrochrome 1,500 kt
  • Coal 121 kt

Changes to guidance mainly reflect:

  • Copper down 50kt (5%) – primarily due to the ongoing geotechnical constraints facing Katanga’s open pit and management of higher levels of acid-consuming ore, as well as reflecting the lower YTD run-rate at Mount Isa Copper, in large part due to Covid-19 related absenteeism
  • Coal – the negative effect on volumes from the recent flooding event in New South Wales and associated delays in restoring mine production and logistics infrastructure has not yet been incorporated in the guidance table above, pending final assessment

Glencore is one of the world’s largest global diversified natural resource companies and a major producer and marketer of more than 60 responsibly-sourced commodities that advance everyday life. Through a network of assets, customers and suppliers that spans the globe, it produces, process, recycle, source, market and distribute the commodities that enable decarbonisation while meeting the energy needs of today.

Glencore companies employ around 135,000 people, including contractors. With a strong footprint in over 35 countries in both established and emerging regions for natural resources, its marketing and industrial activities are supported by a global network of more than 40 offices.

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