(Ecofin Agency) – Restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic forced several mining companies to suspend their operations last year for a few weeks or months. These disruptions have reduced annual performance at Glencore, except in the gold, zinc and silver segments.
Swiss commodities giant Glencore announced its operating results for 2020 on February 3. Due to restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, some mines operated at idle during the first half of the year, resulting in a decline overall production in several sectors.
The commodities we produced in 2020 help advance everyday life around the world.
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– Glencore (@Glencore) February 3, 2021
In South Africa, for example, ferrochrome production fell 28% year-on-year to 1.02 million tonnes. This is also the case for coal production, which fell by 24%, from 139 to 106 million tonnes. Nickel and lead production fell by 9% and 7% respectively to reach 110,000 and 259,000 tonnes each.
In addition, cobalt production fell by 41% to 27,400 tonnes. The ramp-up of the Katanga mine in the DRC was not enough to offset the deficit created by the closure of Mutanda. Copper production also fell by 8%, from 1.37 to 1.25 million tonnes.
Note that other mining products have withstood the pandemic better with production increases for gold, zinc and silver. Production of the yellow metal increased 3% to 916,000 ounces compared with a 2% increase for the white metal to 32.7 million ounces. The best performance recorded comes from zinc with an increase of 9% to 1.17 million tonnes.