Glencore has decided to suspend capital expenditure (capex) unrelated to sustaining daily operations or
critical projects by up to $1.5 billion in 2020. The company had initially planned to spend about $5.5 billion on capital projects this year, including an acid plant required to improve copper and cobalt production at the Katanga mine in the DRC.
The Katanga acid plant project was initially scheduled for commissioning in the first half of 2020 but has been delayed into the second half of the year as a result of travel restrictions imposed due to Covid-19.
The company was also planning to increase cobalt capacity at Katanga to 30,000 metric tons. Glencore has since revised its production estimate for the mine to 26,000 metric tons.
The 27% reduction in capex will not impact 2020 estimated cobalt production but could affect future production as new construction is delayed and ageing equipment and infrastructure at existing mines is not currently being replaced.