Glencore: The 2021 operating environment remained challenging
Glencore in its full year 2021 production report says that own sourced copper production of 1,195,700 tonnes was 62,400 tonnes (5%) lower than 2020, mainly due to the Mopani disposal (23,800 tonnes), expected lower copper grades at Antapaccay (14,800 tonnes) and lower copper by-products from our mature zinc and nickel mines (26,600 tonnes).
Own sourced cobalt production of 31,300 tonnes was 3,900 tonnes (14%) higher than 2020 due to the limited restart of production at Mutanda in 2021.
Own sourced zinc production of 1,117,800 tonnes was 52,600 tonnes (4%) lower than 2020, mainly reflecting:
- the expected decline of Maleevsky mine in Kazakhstan, being lagged by the slower than expected ramp-up of replacement Zhairem mine tonnage (19,600 tonnes);
- Mount Isa producing additional metal from ore stockpile drawdowns in the base period (24,400 tonnes); and
- Kidd lower grades (13,800 tonnes).
These factors were partly offset by stronger zinc production at Antamina, which was suspended for part of 2020 due to Covid restrictions.
Nickel production of 102.300 tonnes was 7,900 tonnes (7%) lower than in 2020, mainly due to the lengthy scheduled statutory shutdown and maintenance issues at Murrin Murrin earlier in the year.
Attributable ferrochrome production of 1,468,000 tonnes was 439,000 tonnes (43%) higher than 2020 mainly due to the South African national lockdown in the prior year, and a strong operating performance.
Coal production of 103.3 million tonnes was 2.9 million tonnes (3%) lower than 2020, reflecting Prodeco’s care and maintenance status and lower domestic power demand / export rail capacity constraints in South Africa, offset by higher production at Cerrejón, following a Covid suspension and strike in 2020.
Entitlement interest production of 5.3 million boe was 1.3 million boe (34%) higher than 2020 mainly due to commencement of the gas phase of the Alen project in Equatorial Guinea. There was no production from the Chad fields in 2021.
- In early January 2022 we completed the acquisition of the two-thirds of Cerrejon we did not already own.
- The previously announced Ernest Henry copper mine disposal also completed in early January 2022.
Glencore Chief Executive Officer, Gary Naglesaid: “The operating environment remained challenging in 2021, with the Covid-19 pandemic again dominating the daily lives of many of our colleagues, families, local communities and society at large. As a responsible operator, our top priority is to protect the safety and health of our people and the communities that host our businesses. Maintaining production in 2021 became increasingly important as many of our products, so crucial for decarbonisation, energy supply and industrial output, saw higher levels of demand.
“Overall, our operations largely performed in line with guidance expectations. We completed the Cerrejon acquisition and Ernest Henry disposal in January, such transactions being consistent with our continued strategy to simplify and align our portfolio with the materials needed for the energy transition and the responsible decline of our coal business.”