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africa|coal|copper|environment|mining|stainless-steel|steel

Glencore’s Rustenburg ferrochrome smelter remains idled

Glencore CEO Gary Nagle

Glencore CEO Gary Nagle

30th April 2024

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor

     

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JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) –  Pending an improved price and cost environment, Glencore said in its first-quarter 2024 production report on Tuesday that its Rustenburg ferrochrome smelter in South Africa’s North West province would remain idled.

The London- and Johannesburg-listed diversified mining and marketing company reported 26% lower attributable first quarter ferrochrome production of 297 000 t amid the European benchmark ferrochrome price for the second quarter of this year settling at $1.52/lb, 5.6% up on the first three months of 2024.

Ferrochrome is a prime ingredient of stainless steel and most of the ferrochrome produced in South Africa is consumed by China, which is the world’s biggest producer of stainless steel.

Coal production of 26.6-million tonnes was broadly in line with the third quarter of last year, with Glencore CEO Gary Nagle reporting unchanged overall full-year production guidance from that presented at the beginning of this year. South African thermal coal production of four-million tonnes was in line with that of the first three months of last year, while Australian coal output was 3%-higher at 15.9-million tonnes.

First-quarter copper and zinc production was broadly in line with the first quarter of 2023, while nickel increased 14%, reflecting recovery from the Raglan strike impacts in the base period.

Lower year-on-year cobalt reflected the previously announced market-related production adjustments in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Glencore expects full-year marketing-adjusted earnings before interest and taxes to be in the $3-billion to $3.5-billion range.

Glencore’s own sourced copper production of 239 700 t was 2% above that of the first quarter of last year on a like-for-like basis.

The company's own sourced cobalt production of 6 600 t was 3 900 t lower than that of the corresponding period last year on mainly planned lower run-rates at Mutanda Mining in the current weak cobalt pricing environment and mill downtime at Kamoto Copper Company, which are both located in the DRC.

Overall zinc production of 205 600 t was in line, while own sourced zinc production was 6% higher at 10 600 t.

Own sourced nickel production was 14% higher at 23 800 t.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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