Archive | Glencore

Glencore Goes From Crisis to Crisis With Possible Bribery Probe – by Thomas Wilson (Bloomberg News – May 21, 2018)

It’s becoming hard to keep track of all of Glencore’s legal battles in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The world’s biggest commodity trader is facing the possibility of a bribery investigation by British prosecutors over its work with Dan Gertler, an Israeli billionaire and close friend of Congo President Joseph Kabila.

That’s on top of other disputes, like a conflict with Gertler over unpaid royalties. The Swiss trader is also fighting the government over a new mining code that hikes taxes, and is part of a court case with Congo’s state-owned miner Gecamines, which is pushing to dissolve a local operating unit, saying Glencore overburdened it with debt. Continue Reading →

Tanzania cancels license of Barrick, Glencore nickel project – by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala (Reuters U.S. – May 12, 2018)

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania has revoked a retention license for an undeveloped nickel project jointly owned by Barrick Gold Corp and London-listed miner Glencore Plc as part of enforcement of a new mining regime.

The license for the Kabanga nickel project in northwestern Tanzania was among 11 retention licences canceled by the government under the Mining (Mineral Rights) Regulations of 2018, which were approved in January.

A retention license is granted to holders of a prospecting license after they identify a mineral deposit within the prospecting area which is potentially of commercial significance but cannot be immediately developed due to technical constraints, adverse market conditions or other economic factors. Continue Reading →

Rumble in the jungle: Glencore, a hard-slugging mining giant, meets its match in Congo (The Economist – May 3, 2018)

A fight between two billionaires involves a coveted mineral, cobalt

IN THE mining world the bout has the drama of a heavyweight title fight. In one corner is Ivan Glasenberg, billionaire boss of Glencore, the world’s biggest commodities-trading firm. In the other is Dan Gertler, an Israeli billionaire accused by America of corruption related to his dealings with Joseph Kabila’s government in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The prize is a battery mineral, cobalt, which Glencore produces in the DRC and whose value has almost tripled since the electric-vehicle revolution accelerated at the start of 2017. It will be a tough fight.

In the DRC Glencore is currently facing the potential loss of one of its biggest mines and sharply higher mining levies, as well as a costly lawsuit. “It’s a shakedown of Glencore,” says an analyst in London. Continue Reading →

Glencore’s Congo mining conundrum – by Barbara Lewis and Aaron Ross (Reuters U.K. – May 3, 2018)

LONDON/DAKAR (Reuters) – Miner and commodities trader Glencore (GLEN.L) is embroiled in a legal tangle over its copper and cobalt operations in Democratic Republic of Congo, where conflict and changes to regulations have deterred many mining firms.

U.S. sanctions on Glencore’s former Israeli partner in Congo have been a trigger for litigation. At the same time, relations with the Congolese authorities are under strain from a dispute with the government over a new mining code.

Investors are watching closely, particularly for any impact on supplies of cobalt from Congo, which is by far the world’s biggest producer of the metal whose uses include making alloys for jet engines and batteries for electric cars and mobile phones. Continue Reading →

Glencore Is Said to Take Congo Rift With Gertler to London Court – by Thomas Wilson (Bloomberg News – May 2, 2018)

Glencore Plc’s clash with former partner Dan Gertler over unpaid royalties at a key Congolese copper mine deepened as the legal battle spread to a London court.

The Swiss miner was on Tuesday granted a temporary injunction against the Israeli billionaire after petitioning the London court to rule against a Congolese judge’s decision last week to freeze assets at its Kamoto Copper project, people familiar with the matter said.

Gertler is claiming $2.28 billion in damages and unpaid royalties, which Glencore stopped paying after he was sanctioned by the U.S. in December. Continue Reading →

Copper and cobalt markets at risk of supply disruptions – by Neil Hume and Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – April 30, 2018)

Glencore and Freeport-McMoRan under pressure in DRC and Indonesia

The commodities industry has been focused on the crisis surrounding Rusal, the Russian aluminium producer, but a number of disputes entail higher prices for copper and cobalt.

In the past week, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s state-owned mining company has filed legal action against Glencore, while in Indonesia the government has imposed new environmental standards on the giant Grasberg copper and gold mine owned by Freeport-McMoRan.

“Political risk has gone from being little thought about to being a major concern,” Michael Stoner, an analyst at Berenberg, said. Continue Reading →

Glencore Drops as Clash With Former Partner Adds to Congo Issues – by Thomas Wilson (Bloomberg News – April 30, 2018)

Glencore Plc dropped the most among the U.K.’s biggest stocks as the company clashed with a former partner over royalties at key copper and cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The shares fell as much as 3.9 percent after the company said late Friday that a Congolese court authorized bailiffs to freeze certain Glencore assets after Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler served orders on local units for almost $3 billion in damages.

The damages relate to royalties from the Mutanda Mining and Kamoto Copper projects, which Glencore stopped paying to Gertler since he was sanctioned by the U.S. for alleged corruption in December. Continue Reading →

Katanga Mining faces threat from Congo company – by Geoffrey York (Globe and Mail – April 25, 2018)

Congo’s state-owned mining company has accused Toronto-listed Katanga Mining Ltd. of draining hundreds of millions of dollars from their joint-venture copper and cobalt mining company.

Katanga, owned by Swiss-based mining giant Glencore PLC, had seen its share price soar over the past year on projections that it will become the world’s biggest producer of cobalt, an essential element in batteries for electric cars.

The boom in electric cars, which has led to a tripling of cobalt prices over the past two years, has boosted Glencore into a powerful position as a dominant supplier to the auto industry, despite investor jitters about instability and corruption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Continue Reading →

Last hurrah for the zinc price – by Frik Els ( – April 12, 2018)

Zinc hit a four month low of $3,135 a tonne on Thursday, down more than 12% from its decade high achieved mid-February.

Rising fears about trade protectionism have taken the shine off most base metals but zinc’s bearish outlook has more to do with new supply; and lots of it.

The metal, mainly used to galvanize steel, has more than doubled since hitting multi-year lows in January 2016 after the shutdown of major mines including Australia’s Century, the Lisheen mine in Ireland and top producer Glencore’s depleted Brunswick and Perseverance mines in Canada. Continue Reading →

Rusal bonds slump, customers review contracts as U.S. sanctions bite – by Polina Ivanova (Reuters U.S. – April 10, 2018)

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Rusal’s (0486.HK) dollar bonds slumped to record lows, two major customers said they were reviewing their contracts, and the London Metal Exchange distanced itself from the aluminum giant on Tuesday, in the latest aftershocks from U.S. sanctions.

The sanctions imposed on Rusal and its boss, metals magnate Oleg Deripaska, mark the first time a major international company has been targeted by Washington in its moves to punish Russia for alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

While Russian markets, including the rouble, fell across the board on Monday, Rusal assets were hardest hit, with its Hong Kong-listed shares halving in value and the company warning it risked tipping into technical default. Continue Reading →

‘Deep will be the new norm’ — Glencore spends $1B to find new ore beneath Sudbury – by Erik White (CBC News Sudbury – April 5, 2018)

First ore expected in about 4 years, with full production by 2025

Glencore is spending nearly $1 billion to mine new ore underneath Sudbury. The Onaping Depth project was announced at the same time as Vale revealed plans to go ahead with its multi-million dollar expansion of Copper Cliff Mine, also known as “Copper Cliff Deep.”

“I think deep will be the new norm and certainly in Sudbury, that’s where the future lies,” said Peter Xavier, Glencore vice-president of Sudbury operations.

The deposit is located 2,500 metres beneath the mothballed Craig Mine in Onaping and was found in the 1990s. Xavier says it’s taken years of planning to figure out how to mine safely and economically at that low level. Continue Reading →

[Ontario] Province sets new pollution targets, but Sudbury smelters not expected to hit them – by Erik White (CBC News Sudbury – March 25, 2018)

The amount of sulphur dioxide that industries can pump into Ontario’s atmosphere will be dramatically reduced under new regulations set to take effect in 2023, but the environment minister says companies won’t be required to hit those targets.

The province announced last week that it will slash the annual emissions limit from 250 parts per billion to 40 parts per billion. But Environment and Climate Change Minister Chris Ballard says polluting industries, like the mining sector in Sudbury, won’t be punished if it doesn’t follow the new rules.

“We understand there are technological limits in some industries and smelting certainly is one of those where even if they were to double or triple their pollution control investments today, our experts tell us it wouldn’t perceptibly drop the sulphur dioxide emissions,” says Ballard. Continue Reading →

Glencore Faces Off Against Labor Group on Congo Mine Conditions – by Thomas Wilson (Bloomberg News – March 23, 2018)

Commodity giant Glencore Plc defended working conditions at its mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo after an international labor federation said its employees are poorly treated and underpaid.

The spat with Geneva-based IndustriALL, a global union federation that says it represents more than 50 million workers in 140 countries, comes as some of the world’s biggest companies, from Apple Inc. to Volkswagen AG, pursue multi-million-dollar deals for Glencore’s prized Congolese cobalt.

Working conditions at Glencore’s Katanga Mining Ltd. and Mutanda operations violate workers’ rights and need to be improved, IndustriALL said March 22 in an emailed statement after representatives visited Congo in February. Continue Reading →

Glencore snaps up Rio Tinto’s Hail Creek coal mine, project for $1.7 billion – by Tom Westbrook (Reuters U.S. – March 20, 2018)

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Glencore is buying Rio Tinto’s Hail Creek coal mine and the Valeria coal project in Australia for $1.7 billion, tightening the Swiss trading and mining giant’s grip on coal as its rivals exit the industry.

The acquisition, announced by both companies on Tuesday, follows Glencore’s purchase of half of Rio Tinto’s Hunter Valley coal operations, also in Australia, for $1.1 billion last year in a deal with China’s Yancoal Australia Ltd.

Glencore is already the world’s biggest exporter of thermal coal used for power stations, and Hail Creek will give it a bigger stake in metallurgical coal used for steelmaking. Continue Reading →

How Congo faced down some of the world’s biggest mining firms – by Aaron Ross (Reuters U.K. – March 15, 2018)

DAKAR (Reuters) – In an ornate room in Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential palace last week, some of global mining’s most powerful men faced off against government officials over proposed changes to the country’s mining code.

Facing the officials, including President Joseph Kabila, the executives at times threatened to pursue arbitration or close mines if the government went ahead with changes including royalty increases, according to one of the president’s top advisers, Barnabe Kikaya bin Karubi, who attended the meeting.

But there was no mistaking the sense of defeat as executives from Glencore, Randgold, Ivanhoe and other firms descended the red carpeted stairs after six hours to accept before the media a mining code that hikes taxes and removes exemptions for cobalt and other minerals. Continue Reading →