StockMarketWire.com - Glencore said half-yearly earnings fell by nearly a third as lower copper and cobalt prices and poor performance from its African mines hurt performance.

Glencore also confirmed that it would put the Mutanda mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on care & maintenance by the end of 2019 due to reduced cobalt prices.

'At Mutanda, we are planning to transition the operation to temporary care and maintenance by year end, reflecting its reduced economic viability in the current market environment, primarily in response to low cobalt prices, ' the company said.

For the six months ended 30 June, adjusted earnings (EBITDA) fell 32% to $5.6bn from a year earlier.

The fall in earnings was also blamed poor underperformance at its African copper business following challenges at its Katanga and Mopani mines. The company vowed, however, to address the issues by making several management changes and overseeing a detailed operational review. Excluding African copper, the company's copper business recorded an earnings (EBITDA) mining margin of 52% and a full unit cash cost of 72 cents per pound, while its coal business again generated margins in excess of $30 per tonne, basis a $46 per tonne thermal unit cash cost.

'Similarly, our marketing business is tracking towards the middle of our full year Adjusted EBIT guidance range of $2.2-$3.2 billion, after adjusting for some $350 million of non-cash cobalt losses reported in the first half,' it added.

Looking ahead, the company expected industrial production weighted towards second half of the year for each of Copper, Zinc, Nickel, Coal and Oil; with pre-cobalt market adjusted EBIT of $1.3bn, tracking towards the middle of its $2.2bn to $3bn long-term guidance range.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com