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(Bloomberg) -- Glencore Plc cut its capital spending projection for this year after metal prices slumped and the commodities trader temporarily shuttered some of its coal mines.
Glencore will cut planned expenditure this year to $6.5 billion to $6.8 billion from a December target of $7.9 billion, the Baar, Switzerland-based company said in a statement Wednesday.
“Responding to the volatile market backdrop, we have comprehensively reviewed the planned level of sustaining and expansionary capex in 2015,” Glencore said.
Miners will scale back spending by $20 billion this year, according to Macquarie Group Ltd., as they cut growth plans amid waning demand for raw materials. Prices of minerals and metals dropped to the lowest since August 2002 on Jan. 29, according to the Bloomberg Commodity Index.
Fourth-quarter coal production declined 13 percent to 34.9 million metric tons from the preceding three months, the company said. Glencore, the world’s biggest exporter of power-station coal, stopped production at its Australian mines for three weeks during the period as prices languished at a five-year low.
Glencore mined 397,400 tons of copper in the fourth quarter, a 7 percent drop from a year earlier. Zinc production rose 15 percent to 388,800 tons, lead increased 4 percent to 84,200 tons and nickel rose 14 percent to 25,900 tons.
Glencore said in a separate statement today that it planned to divest its 23.9 percent holding in platinum producer Lonmin Plc to its own shareholders.
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