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Report: Glencore to shut down Mutanda copper-cobalt mine in DRC

Glencore PLC will shut down the Mutanda copper-cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo at the end of 2019 due to slumping cobalt prices and rising costs, the Financial Times reported Aug. 7, citing a company letter to employees.

Operations at the Mutanda mine will continue until the end of 2019, when it will be placed on care and maintenance, the report said. In the second quarter, the mine's copper output fell 50% year on year to 25,700 tonnes while cobalt output rose 13% to 7,000 tonnes.

Earlier this year, Glencore reportedly planned to slash production and dismiss the mine's 2,000 workers, as well as expatriates and external contractors.

At the time, Glencore's move to cut output was expected to be temporary as it sought new copper mining methods. But according to the latest Financial Times report, the planned shift was expensive and not sustainable under the country's new mining code.

Valery Mukasa, the chief of staff of the country's mining ministry, told the newspaper that it had been informed of the decision and provided no further comment.