Miner Glencore reported its Q1 2019 production figures this week, showing own-sourced copper production dipped 7% year over year, while cobalt production surged 56% year over year.
Glencore’s copper production totaled 320.7 kt in Q1 2019, while cobalt production reached 10.9 kt.
According to the miner, the reduced copper output is explained by: reduced metal production in Australia due to flooding in Queensland; the impact of “safety-related stoppages and smelter outages at Mopani”; and the Alumbrera open-cut depletion and sale of Punitaqui in the second half of 2018.
While cobalt production is up, the miner has dealt with elevated levels of uranium in cobalt mined at its Katanga operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; as a result, Katanga made no cobalt sales in Q1, according to the company announcement.
“From April 2019, the export and sale of a limited quantity of cobalt, complying with appropriate regulations, was allowed to resume,” the company said. “Such resumption of exports remains subject to the relevant DRC export procedures, which include continued monitoring by the relevant authorities.”
Glencore’s zinc production in the quarter ticked up 8% to 262.3 kt, aided by the restart of the Lady Loretta mine in Australia. However, the total was weighed down by lower production at Kazzinc in Kazakhstan, stemming from a “safety-related investigation” at one mine.
Nickel production, meanwhile, fell 10% to 27.1 kt, impacted by severe weather in Canada.
Ferrochrome production of 402 kt held flat year over year, while coal production moved up 8% to 33.2 million tons.
The miner’s updated fiscal year 2019 guidance calls for 1,460 kt (+/- 30) of copper production, compared with the full-year 2018 production total of 1,454 kt.
Cobalt guidance came in at 57 kt (+/- 4), up from 42.2 kt in 2018. Zinc guidance checked in at 1,195 kt (+/- 30), up from 1,068 kt in 2018. Nickel production was 128 kt (+/- 5), compared with 124 kt in 2018.
Ferrchrome guidance was 1,640 kt (+/- 25), compared with 1,580 kt in 2018. Coal guidance was 145 million tons (+/- 3), compared with 129 million tons in 2018.
Oil guidance of 5.5 mbbl (+/- 0.2) marked an increase from 4.6 mbbl for 2018.