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Production suspensions weigh on Glencore's FY'16 output

Glencore Plc's total production in 2016 was in line with the year's guidance, with year-over-year drops in copper, zinc and coal output reflecting suspensions at various operations.

Copper production dropped 5% year over year to 1.4 million tonnes due to production suspensions at Glencore's African copper assets, partly offset by improved grades and volumes at its South American assets.

Zinc output dropped 24% year over year to 1.1 million tonnes, mainly due to the production suspensions announced in October 2015.

Nickel production jumped 20% to 115,100 tonnes on a yearly basis due to the processing in 2016 of material stockpiled during maintenance work at the Sudbury smelter in 2015.

Coal output fell 5% to 124.9 million tonnes, reflecting the deconsolidation and subsequent sale of Optimum Coal, scheduled mine closures in South Africa and weather-related constraints on production in Colombia.

Manganese production declined 11% year over year to 218,000 tonnes, lead production slipped 1% to 294,200 tonnes and cobalt output jumped 23% to 28,300 tonnes.

Production of both gold and silver increased 7% to 1.0 million ounces and 39.1 million ounces, respectively.

Production from the company's own sources improved 4% for ferrochrome, to 1.5 million tonnes, and 1% for vanadium pentoxide, to 21.1 million pounds.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, the company realized overall gains in output, with year-over-year drops in production of copper, zinc and platinum.

In 2017, Glencore expects to produce 1.33 million tonnes to 1.38 million tonnes of copper, 1.17 million tonnes to 1.22 million tonnes of zinc, 290,000 tonnes to 310,000 tonnes of lead, 116,000 tonnes to 124,000 tonnes of nickel, 1.63 million tonnes to 1.68 million tonnes of ferrochrome and 132 million tonnes to 138 million tonnes of coal.