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Glencore cutting back zinc metal production

BERLIN - Commodities group Glencore says it is reducing zinc metal production in Australia, South America and Kazakhstan in a move prompted by low zinc and lead prices.

The company said Friday that it will reduce annual production by 500,000 tons, about one-third of the total. It said the main reason is "to preserve the value of Glencore's reserves in the ground at a time of low zinc and lead prices, which do not correctly value the scarce nature of our resources."

Glencore says its operations at Lady Loretta in Australia and Iscaycruz in Peru will be suspended. Mining operations at George Fisher and McArthur River in Australia and at various locations in Kazakhstan will reduce production levels.

It says that "these changes, although temporary, will unfortunately affect employees at our operations."

Glencore shares rose strongly after the announcement, up 10.9 percent in London.

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