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Mining giant Glencore Xstrata says copper output up 24%

Mining and commodities giant Glencore Xstrata raised its copper output by 24 per cent in the first quarter compared with production in the same period of 2013, it said on Tuesday.

ZURICH: Mining and commodities giant Glencore Xstrata raised its copper output by 24 per cent in the first quarter compared with production in the same period of 2013, it said on Tuesday.

Copper production reached a total of 382,000 tonnes, driven by expanding operations at its Mutanda mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo and at its Ernest Henry site in Australia, it said.

Output also improved at its Collahuasi and Antamina mines, in Chile and Peru respectively.

Copper, which like other metals is a key measure of the state of the global economy, has gained an increasingly important role in Glencore Xstrata's portfolio since the group was created last year.

The giant group came into being with a mega merger in May 2013 between commodities firm Glencore and mining company Xstrata, both of which were already based in Switzerland.

Production of zinc production -- another reference commodity for Glencore Xstrata -- declined 18 per cent year-on-year to 306,000 tonnes as the result to the closure of two ageing mines in June 2013.

Excluding that impact, zinc production was broadly in line with the previous period, Glencore Xstrata said.

On the energy front, coal production rose by 4.0 per cent to 34.1 million tonnes.

That figure reflected the impact of a 32-day strike in the first quarter of 2013 at the Cerrejon open-cast mine in Colombia, and expansion of operations in Australia.

Glencore Xstrata's agricultural commodities' output meanwhile increased by 25 per cent to 1.8 million tonnes.

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