Glencore: nickel, coal production higher; copper, ferrochrome down

Glencore, in its First Quarter 2022 Production Report, says its own sourced copper production of 257,800 tonnes was 43,400 tonnes (14%) lower than Q1 2021, reflecting temporary geotechnical constraints at Katanga (14,000 tonnes), the basis change arising from the sale of Ernest Henry in January 2022 (11,000 tonnes) and lower copper units produced within Glencore’s zinc business.

Own sourced zinc production of 241,500 tonnes was 41,000 tonnes (15%) lower than Q1 2021, reflecting Mount Isa Covid-19 related absenteeism (21,300 tonnes) and the planned mining cessation of Iscaycruz in Peru in Q3 2021 (20,300 tonnes).

Own sourced nickel production of 30,700 tonnes was 5,500 tonnes (22%) higher than Q1 2021, primarily reflecting Koniambo operating both production lines in 2022.

Attributable ferrochrome production of 387,000 tonnes was 12,000 tonnes (3%) below Q1 2021.

Coal production of 28.5 million tonnes was 4.0 million tonnes (16%) higher than Q1 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, the increase was 0.4 million tonnes (1%).

Entitlement interest oil production of 1.5 million barrels of oil equivalent was 0.4 million barrels (40%) higher than Q1 2021, due to commencement of the gas phase of the Alen project in Equatorial Guinea from March 2021.

Glencore Chief Executive Officer, Gary Nagle: “For the most part, the Group’s quarterly production was in line with our expectations. However, production in Q1 2022 reflects a number of temporary impacts, including geotechnical challenges at Katanga and Covid-19 absenteeism, particularly in Australia. Koniambo’s Q4 2021 higher operating rates continued into Q1 this year, while overall coal production, on a like-for-like basis, reflecting our increased Cerrejón ownership, was broadly flat period-on-period.

“Reflecting the Q1 production performance, full-year guidance is reduced for copper and cobalt, but increased for nickel and ferrochrome, while the slower than expected ramp-up at Zhairem reduces full-year zinc production guidance by 9%.

“Our Marketing activities were supported during the quarter by tight physical market conditions and periods of extreme volatility. Extrapolating our Q1 performance would see our Marketing segment’s full-year earnings comfortably exceeding the top end of our long-term Adjusted EBIT guidance range of $2.2-3.2bn p.a.”

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