Glencore Closes Large Cobalt Mine
The company’s African copper business did not meet expected operational performance. “We have moved to address the challenges at Katanga and Mopani with several management changes as well as overseeing a detailed operational review, targeting multiple improvements to achieve consistent, cost-efficient production at design capacity,” Glasenberg said. “Our teams have identified a credible roadmap toward delivering on the significant cashflow generation potential of these assets, at targeted steady state production levels.”
In response to its reduced economic viability, including low cobalt prices, Glencore said it will place its Mutanda operation on temporary care and maintenance by year end. Mutanda is one of the world’s largest sources of cobalt. “The rest of our business, however, performed well,” Glasenberg said. “Excluding our African copper assets and Koniambo, our metals and coal industrial assets delivered robust Adjusted EBITDA mining margins of 39%.”
The copper business, excluding African copper, recorded an EBITDA mining margin of 52% and a full unit cash cost of $0.72/lb, while the coal business generated margins in excess of $30/metric ton (mt), basis a $46/mt thermal unit cash cost, according to Glasenberg.