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Glencore's own-sourced copper output down 4% in Q3'19; cobalt up 11% YOY

Glencore PLCs own-sourced copper production in the third quarter slipped 4% to 352,800 tonnes, while cobalt production was up 11% to 13,100 tonnes, it said Oct. 25.

The Swiss commodity giant's Katanga Mining Ltd. unit produced 59,424 tonnes of copper cathode and 4,763 tonnes of cobalt in hydroxide in the third quarter, rising from the year-ago output of 39,296 tonnes of copper cathode and 3,512 tonnes of cobalt hydroxide.

Glencore's third-quarter nickel output grew 18% to 34,000 tonnes, while zinc and lead production declined by 5% and 11%, respectively, to 273,300 tonnes and 72,300 tonnes.

Silver output slumped 14% to 8.24 million ounces, and gold production sank 31% to 199,000 ounces.

Maintenance delays at the company's ferrochrome assets affected production, which slipped 29% to 231,000 tonnes. Coal production inched up 3% to 35.8 million tonnes.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, own-sourced copper output dropped 4% to 1.02 Mt due to a reoptimization of the mine plan for the Mutanda mine in Congo, an extensive refurbishment of the Mopani copper smelter in Zambia, and the sale and mining depletion of Glencore's South American assets.

Cobalt output increased 21% to 34,400 tonnes amid the ramp-up of the Katanga mine in Congo.

Increased contributions from the Lady Loretta mine at the Mount Isa operation in Queensland, Australia, and the McArthur River mine in Australia's Northern Territory positively influenced zinc production, which rose 3% to 809,200 tonnes over the first nine months of 2019.

Attributable ferrochrome output dipped 10% to 1.03 Mt as gold and silver output posted 20% and 10% decreases to 622,000 ounces and 23.73 Moz, respectively.

Excluding its African assets, the company lowered its full-year 2019 copper production forecast by 1%, or 15,000 tonnes. It attributed the lower guidance to "minor operational updates across the portfolio."

A delay in restarting the Iscaycruz mine, compounded by ground conditions at the Tishinsky mine in Kazakhstan and by the Contonga mine in Peru transitioning to care and maintenance, led Glencore to lower zinc output guidance by 85,000 tonnes, or 7%.

Forecast ferrochrome output was cut by 30,000 tonnes, or 2%, on the back of additional maintenance days in response to weak market conditions.