SHANGHAI, Dec.13 (SMM)－Glencore Plc promised to double its dividend, restart some zinc production and boost spending as the world’s largest commodity trader reaps rewards from soaring metals prices.
Glencore will pay shareholders at least $2 billion in 2018, the company said. The dividend will be split into two payments, and could be increased during the half-year results.
Still, Glencore’s dividend remains low compared with other mining majors, such as Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton Ltd. The focus on payouts comes at a time when investors are pressuring miners to reward investors with cash, rather than dive into big deals.
Glencore, the world’s top zinc miner, plans to increase production to take advantage of prices near a decade high. Overall production will drop slightly in 2018 and gradually increase through 2020, the presentation showed.
Glencore will raise production by 195,000 metric tons through the end of 2020 as it resumes operations at the Lady Loretta mine in Australia, the company told investors on Tuesday.
Zinc futures jumped on the news of the increase, which was less than half the 500,000 tons of capacity that was switched off in 2015 and lower than some had feared.
The metal is up almost 90 percent since Glencore unveiled production cuts in October 2015. The curbs helped spur a resurgence in the profitability of the company’s zinc business and make the commodity the best-performing base metal in the past two years.
Glencore has repeatedly pledged that it would restart its mines when the market needed the tons, and Chief Financial Officer Steve Kalmin suggested on Tuesday that it will monitor the market with an eye to bringing more supply back online. (Bloomberg)
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