Glencore has unveiled 2015 half-year production report.
Total own sourced copper production was 730,900 tonnes, 3% lower than the comparable period. The net decrease relates mainly to anticipated grade variations at certain assets and planned maintenance, largely offset by period-onperiod growth from African copper.
African copper produced 232,500 tonnes, a 10% increase on H1 2014, reflecting stronger production at all operations: Katanga (up 6%); Mutanda (up 7%); and Mopani (up 21%).
Katanga recently approved capital expenditure for upgrading of the production process to enable whole ore leaching, with expected commissioning in 2017. The new process is expected to lift copper oxide recoveries (increase production and the life of mine) and consequently reduce unit costs. In early H1 2015, mining and consequently processing, was negatively affected by wet weather.
Mutanda’s increased mining and milling rates reflected a high level of consistency of plant operation.
Mopani increased production compared to H1 2014, due to the biennial maintenance shutdown in Q2 2014. However, production was lower than in H2 2014, as a result of stope restrictions in early 2015 and challenges with the current shaft infrastructure. The various ongoing major shaft development projects are expected to significantly simplify Mopani’s infrastructure going forward, thereby increasing reliability and efficiency, as well as output.
Cobalt production of 8,100 tonnes was in line with the comparable period.
The group’s share of Collahuasi copper production was 95,300 tonnes. The 10% decrease compared to H1 2014 was due to the planned mill shutdown in February and temporary mill speed restrictions on the two smaller processing lines that affected ore throughput at the plant.
The group’s share of Antamina copper production was 56,800 tonnes (7% lower than H1 2014) and zinc production of 35,200 tonnes (30% higher than H1 2014). The planned mine sequence at Antamina has current mining areas having on average, higher levels of zinc and lower in copper.
Other South America
Copper production from Other South America was 147,900 tonnes. The 15% reduction compared to H1 2014 was due to the expected lower production from Alumbrera (28,200 tonnes reduction) on account of lower and more variable grades as it moves through the latter stages of its mine life. This was partly offset by Antapaccay, which increased production compared to H1 2014 due to consistently high throughput rates and the Tintaya plant restarting in May. The Antapaccay mine has successfully ramped up to feed both plants.
Gold production was 124,000 oz, 30% lower than H1 2014 and 41% lower than H2 2014, relating to lower head grades as anticipated in the life of mine plan at Alumbrera, partly offset by Antapaccay, due to higher mill throughput.
Australian own sourced copper production was 126,800 tonnes, 4% lower than the comparable period, as stocks of own sourced material at the refinery were particularly high at the start of 2014. Total copper production including third party material was 168,600 tonnes, in line with the comparable period. Gold production was 39,000 oz, 11% higher than in H1 2014, with higher grades attributable to Ernest Henry.
Custom metallurgical assets
Custom copper cathode production was 216,900 tonnes, 9% higher than the comparable period, as Pasar was operational throughout the period, whereas production stopped for part of 2014 due to typhoon Haiyan.
Custom copper anode production was 244,900 tonnes, 8% lower than H1 2014, mainly reflecting the planned maintenance shutdown at Altonorte in May.