Glencore reports mixed Q3 2020 production results


  • The generally strong sequential quarterly production performance noted in the table below, in large part, reflects reversal of the various short-term Covid-19 related shutdowns in Q2, as mandated by several national/local governments.
  • Own sourced copper production of 934,700 tonnes was 81,100 tonnes (8%) lower than the comparable prior period, reflecting Mutanda being on care and maintenance in the current period and the temporary suspension of operations at Antamina in Q2, partly offset by a continued strong milling performance at Collahuasi and Katanga’s ramp-up.
  • Own sourced cobalt production of 21,600 tonnes was 12,800 tonnes (37%) lower than the comparable prior period, mainly reflecting Mutanda on care and maintenance, partly offset by Katanga’s ramp-up.
  • Own source zinc production of 860,100 tonnes was 50,900 tonnes (6%) higher than the comparable prior period, mainly reflecting: (i) higher zinc grades from Antamina notwithstanding the temporary Covid-related suspension (21,800 tonnes); (ii) improved throughput at Mount Isa (14,900 tonnes); and (iii) the net positive effect of 13,800 tonnes from Other South America owing to re-opening the short-life Iscaycruz mine in Peru, offset by Covid-related slowdowns and suspensions.
  • Own sourced nickel production of 81,800 tonnes was 7,600 tonnes (9%) lower than the comparable prior period, mainly reflecting Koniambo running as a single-line operation for most of Q2/Q3, with Covid-related restrictions on mobility affecting timing of maintenance.
  • Attributable ferrochrome production of 651,000 tonnes was 379,000 tonnes  (37%) lower than the comparable prior period, primarily reflecting the Q2 South African lockdown measures. As of 1 September, four of the five smelters were running. The competitive environment across the South African ferrochrome industry continues to be challenging, in particular due to high input costs including electricity.
  • Coal production of 83.5 million tonnes was 20.5 million tonnes (20%) lower than the comparable prior period, reflecting Prodeco being on care and maintenance for most of 2020, disruptions at Cerrejón (initially Covid-related, and lately due to industrial action), and targeted H2 volume reductions across the Australian portfolio, during a time of weak market conditions.
  • Entitlement interest oil production of 3.4 million barrels was 0.3 million barrels (8%) lower than the comparable prior period, reflecting the temporary suspension of Chad operations since April 2020, partly offset by new wells drilled in Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon.

Glencore Chief Executive Officer, Ivan Glasenberg:

“Glencore has delivered a solid third quarter operating performance, including the continued successful ramp-up of Katanga, which remains on track to achieve design capacity by year end. Our teams have adapted well to the numerous challenges presented by Covid-19.

“We maintain our 2020 full year production guidance, except coal, which was adjusted for the extended strike at Cerrejon. We will provide a detailed business update, including progress on climate change initiatives at our Investor Update on 4 December.”

Production guidance

  • Changes in guidance reflect the tightening of most ranges and coal down 5mt (4%), accounting for the current extended industrial strike at Cerrejón JV (Colombia).
          ROYCurrent guidance    Previous
   202020202020202020202020 2020
Copper          kt      293            295           347            935           320  1,255 ± 25   1,255 ± 35
Cobalt          kt          6                8                8              22                6         28 ± 1         28 ± 2
Zinc          kt      296            255            310           860           300  1,160 ± 251  1,160 ± 30
Nickel          kt        28              27              27             82              32       114 ± 3        114 ± 4
Ferrochrome          kt      388              78            185            651           3491,000 ± 25 1,000 ± 25
Coal         mt        32              26              26             84              25       109 ± 3        114 ± 3

1     Excludes Volcan

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