LONDON (Reuters) -Miner and trader Glencore lowered its 2022 production guidance on copper, zinc and cobalt after operational challenges and COVID-related absenteeism in the first quarter drove output for some metals lower.
It upped its output guidance for nickel and ferrochrome, however, and said it expected its full-year trading earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) to “comfortably” exceed $3.2 billion, which is the top of the range of its long-term annual guidance. The bottom end is $2.2 billion.
Prices for many of the metals Glencore mines remain close to their record highs of 2021, reflecting shortages during protracted COVID-related lockdowns and also the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The London-listed company reported a 14% fall in copper production in the three months to the end of March and a 15% drop in zinc, mostly due to delays at its Zhairem operation in Kazakhstan.
“Full-year guidance is reduced for copper and cobalt, but increased for nickel and ferrochrome, while the slower than expected ramp-up at Zhairem reduces full-year zinc production guidance by 9%,” Chief Executive Gary Nagle said in a statement.
Glencore joined other global miners including Anglo American and BHP Group in warning about future production targets, laying part of the blame on labour shortages linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company saw a 16% increase in thermal coal production to 28.5 million tonnes in the first quarter, after completing the acquisition of the stake it did not already own in Colombia’s Cerrejon mine in January.
(Reporting by Clara Denina; editing by John Stonestreet)