Glencore announces further debt slashing

Swiss-based Glencore, the world's largest mining company, widened its debt-trimming plan on Thursday, part of an effort to cope with the worst commodities downturn in seven years.

Glencore announces further debt slashing
Photo: AFP

The company, headquartered in the canton of Zug, had in September announced drastic moves to trim its towering debt, but said it now needed to do more.
Glencore said it wanted to lower debt to between $18-$19 billion by the end of next year, after previously announcing a target of $20 billion.

Spending projections have also been cut back, with $3.8 billion allocated for investments in 2016, down from an earlier estimate of $5 billion.
Highlights of the updated plan to stabilise the company's books include new share sales and plans to spin off copper mines in Australia and Chile.
Glencore, the world's most indebted mining company, said it had already achieved $8.7 billion in reduction to its debt, which had stood at $30 billion.
Broadly, the measures underscored the continuing rout in the commodities market, which analysts say has no end in sight and has forced major players in the sector to recalibrate after years of bumper profits.
“We retain a high degree of flexibility and will continue to review the need to act further as required,” Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg said in a statement.
Slowdowns in China, the world's top commodities consumer, triggered near-panic in the commodities market earlier this year.
Glencore had already scrapped its dividend and announced plans to scale back production at some of its mines.
The company's shares, which have been hammered in recent months, surged up by 10.5 percent to 91.79 pence, following what appeared to be a positive reaction to the expanded debt trimming measures.

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At least 19 illegal miners killed at subsidiary of Swiss-based Glencore

At least 19 illegal miners were killed on Thursday after part of a copper mine collapsed in southeastern DR Congo, Swiss-based mining giant Glencore said.

At least 19 illegal miners killed at subsidiary of Swiss-based Glencore
Photo: AFP

The incident happened when two galleries caved in at a mine in the Kolwezi area operated by Kamoto Copper Company (KCC), a subsidiary of Glencore.

“Tragically there were 19 fatalities today, with possible further unconfirmed fatalities,” Glencore said in a statement, which said there had been recurrent problems with illicit mining on its concessions.

Other reports suggest the death toll could be higher. 

The Congolese site Actualite.CD reported at least 36 deaths.

“The illegal artisanal miners were working two galleries in benches overlooking the extraction area. Two of these galleries caved in,” the company said.

Glencore said KCC had observed a “growing presence” of illegal miners, with on average 2,000 people a day intruding on its operating sites.

“KCC urges all illegal miners to cease from putting their lives at risk by trespassing on a major industrial site,” Glencore said.

Illegal mining is common and frequently deadly in Democratic Republic of Congo, where safety is often poor and risk-taking high.

Figures indicating the scale of the problem are sketchy, given that many mines are illegal and remote.