Glencore reinforces its presence in DRC during low copper output

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Glencore has reinforced its presence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) even as it continues to grapple with low copper and cobalt output. The company’s own-sourced copper production for 2019 at 1.37 million tonnes was 6% lower than in 2018.

According to media reports, Glencore put about half the change down to its African assets, where Katanga’s ramp-up partially offset Mutanda’s suspension and Mopani’s extensive smelter refurbishment shutdown. Moreover, Cobalt was 10% higher than 2018 at 43,600t, reflecting Katanga’s ramp-up after the company moved to address unacceptable levels of uranium found in its cobalt hydroxide.

In a statement released to the press, Glencore outlined that ferrochrome production was down 9%, coal was up 8% due to acquisitions and entitlement interest oil production was 19% higher. This, they said, is thanks to a drilling campaign in Chad and first oil from the Bolongo field in Cameroon.

BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward Sterck they remained cautious on Glencore’s near-term outlook as the macro commodity overlay did not sit well with the company’s portfolio, and the African copper assets continued to face operational challenges. He further added that they are foreseeing an improvement in the outlooks of Glencore’s commodities.

Meanwhile, experts report that they continue to expect favourable developments from within the company over the next 24 months, including potential resolution of the DOJ issues and potential strategic shifts following the upcoming management change.

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