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Glencore’s coal production falls

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World Coal,

Glencore’s coal production to the end of September was 8% down on the previous year at 102.7 million t. The Swiss-based company mined 111.4 million t over the same period last year.

The fall comes on the back of the company’s decision to scale back production in Australia and close the Optimum opencast operations in South Africa, as well as reductions in output at Prodeco in Colombia to meet railing restrictions.

Australian thermal coal production fell to 41.7 million t from 46.6 million t last year as the company limited production as a response to softness in the market. South African thermal coal was also down at 31.8 million t – an 8% drop on 2014 – while production in Colombia was 22.3 million.

Of this, 13.9 million t was produced from Prodeco – an 8% drop on last year on the back of nighttime railing restrictions. Glencore’s share of the Cerrejon production was 8.4 million t, broadly level with the previous year.

On the metallurgical side, Australian hard coking coal production was 4.2 million t – 0.4 million t lower than 2014, which the company blamed on geological issues at Oaky North. Semi-soft coal production was the only category to show any growth, rising from 2.5 million t to 2.7 million t over the nine months to September.

Glencore also reported “significant progress” on the delivery of its debt reduction plans. The company raised US$2.5 billion in an equity placement on 16 September and saved an additional US$2.4 billion after suspending its 2015 final and 2016 interim distribution.

It also raised US$0.9 billion from its first precious metals streaming transaction with an additional streaming transaction in progress and expected to be announced by the end of the year, as well as putting stakes in its agriculture business and Lomas Bayas and Cobar copper operations up for sale.

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