DRCDue to the “challenging commodities environment”, Glencore’s Katanga Mining has commenced a review of its business which could result in up to 18 months of suspended copper and cobalt production from its Kamoto mining complex in Kolwezi.

The review will include an analysis of various alternative scenarios – including the total suspension of copper and cobalt production – until the completion of the Whole Ore Leach (WOL) project.

The WOL project is currently on schedule and budget to be completed by the end of the first half of 2017.

In May 2015 Katanga approved capital expenditure to implement whole ore leaching. The new process is expected to:

  • Achieve oxide copper recoveries of 85%;
  • Increase the life of mine from 2031 to 2034;
  • Lower unit costs; and
  • Reduce ore requirements: -23% until 2023.

With a capex of US$437 million and reductions in other planned capital expenditures, the net effect on medium term capital expenditures is expected to be an additional $104 million with an associated operating expenditure saving of $488 million.

Glencore has indicated it will provide or procure the additional funding required, if any, for the WOL project in addition to any funding necessary for operations (and/or suspension thereof) and other capital expenditures during the WOL project building and commissioning phases.

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