George Fisher

Glencore has announced plans to reduce mine production across its operations in Australia, South America and Kazakhstan by 500,000t due to low zinc and lead prices.

According to the company, the temporary changes represent around one-third of its zinc production a year and will further reduce mine production during fourth quarter by around 100,000t of the metal.

In addition, Glencore will suspend operations at Lady Loretta in Australia and Iscaycruz in Peru and production levels at Australia’s George Fisher and McArthur River mines and Kazakhstan mine would be minimised.

The company said in a statement: "Glencore remains positive about the medium and long-term outlook for zinc, lead and silver prices.

"This decision will ensure that our zinc operations are sustainable well into the future, providing jobs in the communities where we operate and returns to shareholders."

The company’s proposed reduction plans are expected to make more than 530 employees redundant.

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"This decision will ensure that our zinc operations are sustainable well into the future."

Glencore claims that its move has been designed to strengthen zinc prices and is also expected to affect lead and silver markets.

The latest decision comes after Glencore’s announcement two days back regarding possible closures of more Hunter Valley coal mines and further cost cutting in Australia.

In addition, the company proposed reductions in thermal coal production at various sites.

Glencore’s operations comprise more than 150 mining and metallurgical sites, oil production assets and agricultural facilities.

It exports more than 85% of its coal to markets worldwide and the remainder to domestic customers in Australia and South Africa.

Image: Glencore’s George Fisher Zinc-Lead mine in Mount Isa, Australia. Photo: © Glencore.