Picture: THINKSTOCK
Picture: THINKSTOCK

LONDON — Glencore has taken another step to reduce its debt by selling $500m of future precious metals output and reported a drop in production of its most lucrative product, copper.

The Swiss-based mining and trading company said that it had agreed to sell future precious metals production from its Antapaccay mine in southern Peru to Toronto-based Franco-Nevada The Antapaccay deal follows Glencore’s agreement in November to sell future silver output to Silver Wheaton Minerals for $900m in cash.

Glencore reported on Thursday that fourth-quarter copper output fell 5.7% to 374,700 tonnes after it shut down mines to counter sliding prices of the metal widely used in power and construction.

The company announced plans last September to suspend 400,000 tonnes of copper output at its Katanga Mining unit in Democratic Republic of Congo and at Mopani Copper Mines in Zambia over an 18-month period.

The moves were part of efforts to regain the confidence of investors after Glencore came under pressure to cut net debt of about $30bn — one of the highest debt piles in the sector — as prices for commodities such as copper and coal hit multiyear lows.

Reuters