Copper volumes tumble but Xstrata stays upbeat on year

City A.M. Reporter
MINER Xstrata reported an 18 per cent drop in copper volumes in the first six months of 2012 yesterday, as it replaces ageing operations and undertakes expansion that will boost production in the second half.

Xstrata is in the throes of a merger with commodities trader Glencore, which made a $26bn (£16.57bn) takeover bid for the miner earlier this year. Xstrata, the world’s fourth-largest copper miner, said production of the red metal dropped to 354,612 tonnes from 434,046 tonnes a year ago.

It was hit by the transition from mines like the Ernest Henry open pit in Australia to new mines and expansion projects. It was also dented by lower recoveries at the world’s third-largest copper mine, Collahuasi, jointly owned with Anglo American, hit by poor weather, safety stoppages and a broken ball mill.