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Glencore, one of the world’s largest commodity producers and traders, saw copper production drop by 6 per cent in 2019, largely due to closures at its African operations, while its output of battery metal cobalt rose by 10 per cent.

The company reported copper production of 1,371.2 kilotonnes in 2019, down 82,500 tonnes from 2018, predominantly due to the temporary mothballing of the Mutanda mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo late last year and a lengthy shutdown of its Mopani smelter in Zambia for maintenance.

“Approximately half of (the decline) … related to the African Copper assets, with Katanga’s ramp-up (+82,100 tonnes, meeting its full-year revised target) partially offsetting Mutanda scaling down and placement into temporary care and maintenance and Mopani’s extensive smelter refurbishment shutdown. The remainder primarily comprised relatively minor portfolio changes and maintenance,” Glencore said in a statement.