Glencore posts 18pc increase in copper output

Suzie Neuwirth
NEWLY-MERGED mining powerhouse Glencore Xstrata yesterday announced an 18 per cent increase in copper production in the first quarter of 2013, but coal output was impacted by a strike at a Colombian mine.

African copper rose 44 per cent year-on-year, with Glencore’s expansion projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo “the main drivers of growth”.

However, coal output remained broadly flat compared to last year, with the 32-day strike at the Cerrejon mine offsetting expansion at the Prodeco mine, also in Colombia.

Zinc production from the company’s Australian operations rose 11 per cent thanks to expansion plans, while a new oil field in Equatorial Guinea remains on track for first production in the third quarter.

“Shares in the group are valued roughly on par with rivals Billiton and Rio Tinto, although arguably the combined resource of Glenstrata and Xstrata has created a broader and more resilient spread of resources,” said Ronnie Chopra, head of strategy at Tradenext, commenting on yesterday’s results.