FILE PHOTO: The logo commodities trader Glencore is pictured in Baar

JOHANNESBURG  - Multinational commodity trading and mining company Glencore said on Tuesday own sourced copper production fell by seven percent to 320,700 tonnes in the first quarter of 2019, compared with the same period last year.

Glencore said this mainly reflected reduced integrated metal production in Australia due to severe flooding in Queensland, the impact of safety-related stoppages and smelter outages at Mopani in Zambia, open-cut depletion at Alumbrera and the sale of Punitaqui last year.

Own sourced cobalt production was 56 percent higher at 10,900 tonnes year-on-year, including 3,500 tonnes from Katanga in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which Glencore said was managing through a period of generally excess uranium content in its cobalt material, thereby constraining exports.

"Katanga made no cobalt sales in Q1 2019. From April 2019, the export and sale of a limited quantity of cobalt, complying with appropriate regulations, was allowed to resume," Glencore said. "Such resumption of exports remains subject to the relevant DRC export procedures, which include continued monitoring by the relevant authorities."

Own sourced zinc production of 262,300 tonnes was 19,600 tonnes higher than the first quarter of 2018, mainly reflecting the restart of the Lady Loretta mine in Australia, partly offset by lower own sourced production at Kazzinc, reflecting the impact of a safety-related investigation at one mine.

Nickel production however fell 10 percent due to severe weather in Canada, while ferrochrome production of 402,000 tonnes was in line with last year's first quarter.

Glencore said coal output was up eight percent at 33.2 million tonnes, while entitlement interest oil production of 1.1 million barrels was in line with the same period last year, reflecting the offsetting effects of natural field decline in Equatorial Guinea and a drilling campaign in Chad.

- African News Agency (ANA)