According to its recently released production report for the first half of 2018, Glencore’s copper production grew to 696,200 metric tons (mt), which was 53,300 mt (8%) higher than the first half of 2017. The real story, however, is the company’s cobalt production of 16,700 mt, which was 4,000 mt (31%) higher. The numbers reflect the restart/ramp-up of Katanga.
Glencore also reported zinc production of 498,200 mt, which was in line with the first half of 2017. Mining operations have restarted at the company’s Lady Loretta (Mount Isa) mine, supporting an increased full-year production run rate. Nickel production totaled 62,200 mt, which was 11,000 mt (21%) higher than the first half of 2017, reflecting Koniambo’s second processing line entering production and the scheduled statutory shutdown at Murrin in the base period. Cobalt, nickel and zinc prices have recently reached multiyear highs.