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FTSE 100: Glencore sticks to 2023 targets despite copper production drop

Glencore  Large mining dump truck. Transport industry. Extraction of stone in an open pit.
Glencore reiterated 2023 production guidance despite a fall in copper and zinc output. Photo: PA/Alamy (Oleg Marchak)

Glencore has told investors it is sticking to its 2023 outlook despite seeing copper production plunge by 12%.

The London-listed miner and trader said it produced 1.06 million tonnes of copper last year, and kept its 2023 outlook unchanged at around 1.04 million tonnes.

Copper production dropped by 12% in 2022, impacted by issues at its Katanga open-pit mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

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Glencore suspended operations at its huge Antapaccay copper mine in Peru on January 20th after protesters attacked the premises

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The commodities giant said cobalt production from its own sources jumped 40% to 43,800 tonnes, boosted by the restarting of the Mutanda mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, while nickel strengthened 5% to 107,500 tonnes.

The company reported a 6% increase in coal production to 110 million tonnes, driven by its Cerrejon mine in Colombia.

But zinc production declined 16% to 938,500 tonnes due to mine closures and sales. Gold production fell 18%, and silver by 25%.

Shares in the blue chip lost 0.26% to 539p as trading got underway.

"Overall, 2022 production volumes were in line with our revised guidance from October 2022, with final quarter sequential production increases delivered across most of our key commodities, including copper, zinc, nickel and coal,” Glencore chief executive officer Gary Nagle, said.

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"During the year, however, we saw a mixed overall production performance. Copper and zinc volumes reflect the base effect of asset sales (notably Ernest Henry and Bolivia), Katanga's geotechnical constraints and supply chain headwinds in Kazakhstan. Nickel volumes benefitted from operating two lines at Koniambo for the majority of the year, partially offset by Canadian industrial action,” he added.

Despite the production headwinds, Glencore left its 2023 production guidance, which it last trimmed in December, unchanged.

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