Glencore loses $350m due to fall in Cobalt price

Anglo-Swiss trading and mining firm, Glencore on Wednesday, July 31 announced that it has been hit by a $350 million loss due to the fall in the price of Cobalt and its African copper business failed to perform as expected. This was made known as the company announced its production report for the first half of 2019.

Currently, it is faced with several issues in Africa and this has weighed on the company. At its largest copper and cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, dozens of illegal miners died last month after a pit wall collapsed. The company also closed two shafts at its Mopani Copper Mines in Zambia. 

In a statement, CEO Ivan Glasenberg said that the company had moved to address the challenges at its Katanga Mining unit in Congo and has brought forward maintenance of the smelter at the Mopani mine in Zambia to the end of 2019. with management changes and an operational review and in Zambia was near the end of multi-year transformation projects.

According to the company it produced 342,300 metric tons of copper in the three months ended June 30, compared with 350,800 tons in 2018. The production of Cobalt and zinc during the second quarter rose 7 percent each to 10,400 tons and 273,600 tons respectively. The total coal production during the second quarter rose 12 percent to 35 million tons.

However, Glencore revealed that its coal production increased by 10% in the first half to a total of 68.2m tonnes, due to additional Australian supply. This increase showed the contributions from the company’s acquisition of shares in the Australian HVO and Hail Creek mines in 2018 as well as a recovery in output at its Colombian Prodeco mine.

Following this report, Glencore plans to separate its African copper business from copper operations in less risky parts of the world, including the Americas and Australia.