Glencore PLC Company Profile

Large rolls of sheet aluminium stored on factory floor
••• Greg Pease / Getty Images

Glencore PLC is involved in the production, marketing, and distribution of energy, agricultural, and metal commodities. Glencore and its subsidiaries have operations in 30 countries and over 56,000 employees. Its head office is located in Baar, Switzerland,


Founded in 1974 as Marc Rich + Co. AG, what is now Glencore originated as a metal, minerals, and crude oil marketing and trading company. During the 1980s, it expanded operations to include agricultural products and began producing and processing commodities. In 1993, the company was renamed Glencore after a management buyout. The company went public in 2011, trading on both the London Stock Exchange and the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. The company's shares began trading on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in November 2013. The company's shares were delisted in Hong Kong in January 2018.

In 2013, Glencore merged with Xstrata PLC, an Anglo-Swiss mining company, to form the world's largest commodities trading company.

Preliminary Financial Results: 2019

  • Revenue: $194.2 billion
  • Adjusted EBITDA: $11.6 billion
  • Net loss attributable to equity holders: $404 million
  • Loss per share: 3 cents
  • Total assets: $124.1 billion

Preliminary results were released on February 18, 2020.

(EBITDA = earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization)

“Our performance in 2019 reflected the prolonged and uncertain trade deal negotiations, generally weaker prices for our key commodities, and some operational challenges experienced at our ramp-up/development assets," Glencore Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg was quoted as saying in the company's earnings announcement.

Adjusted EBITDA fell 26% from $15.8 billion in 2018. In that year, the company reported net income attributable to equity holders of $3.41 billion and earnings per share of 24 cents.

Products and Services

Glencore is involved in the automotive, oil, power, steel, and food processing industries. The company and its subsidiaries are directly involved in the production of many commodities and also sources and markets materials from third-party companies. Glencore's operations can be divided into three commodity segments.

Metals and Minerals

Glencore's metals and minerals operations are involved in the production and trading of alumina, aluminum, zinc, copper, lead, ferroalloys (including chromium, vanadium, and manganese), nickel, cobalt, and iron ore. Production can involve the mining of ores, refining of metals, or both. The metals and minerals division of Glencore is operated from Baar and Stamford, Connecticut. Key assets include:

  • Kazzinc, a zinc/lead/copper/gold production facility in Kazakhstan (69.7% ownership)
  • Mutanda Mining and Katanga Mining (86.3% ownership), both copper and cobalt mining companies in Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Pasar (78.2% ownership), a smelter of copper in the Philippines
  • Mopani (73.1% ownership), a copper and cobalt mine in Zambia
  • CSA Mine, a copper mine in Australia
  • Horne Smelter, a producer of copper anodes from used electronics and other sources in Canada
  • Mount Isa Mines, a facility that produces copper, silver, lead, and zinc in Australia
  • Collahusi (44% ownership), a copper mine in Chile
  • Antamina (33.75% ownership), a copper and zinc mine in Peru
  • Los Quenuales, a zinc and lead miner in Peru
  • Glencore-Merafe Chrome Venture (79.5% ownership), chromite (a chromium-containing ore) mines and smelters in South Africa
  • Rhovan vanadium mine and smelter complex in South Africa
  • Char Technologies, a maker of electrode paste and char in South Africa
  • Raglan Mine, a nickel and cobalt mine in Canada
  • Nikkelwerk, a nickel refinery in Norway

Energy Operations

Glencore's energy segment encompasses the production of oil, gas, thermal coal, and coke, as well as value-added materials, including marine fuels. The energy division of Glencore is operated primarily from London, Baar, Stamford, and Singapore. Key assets include:

  • 26 coal mines in Australia, Colombia, and South Africa, supported by marketing offices in 19 countries
  • HG Storage International (49% ownership), a petroleum products storage and logistics company

Agricultural Operations

Glencore's agricultural operations are involved in the trading and distribution of wheat, sorghum, corn, barley, oilseeds, beans (including peas, lentils, chickpeas, and mung beans), protein meals, vegetable oils (including sunflower, canola, and soybean), biodiesel, sugar, and cotton. These are purchased from a variety of sources ranging from large-scale refineries to individual farmers. Glencore is also heavily involved in the storing, processing, and handling of these commodities. Agricultural operations are managed by the offices in London and Rotterdam. Key assets include:

  • 15 oilseed crushing plants
  • 6 biodiesel processing facilities
  • More than 270 storage facilities in 17 countries
  • 23 port terminals
  • More than 180 ocean-going vessels

Article Sources

  1. Glencore. "Who We Are: Our History." Accessed March 2, 2020.

  2. Johannesburg Stock Exchange. "Glencore Xstrata Lists on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange." Accessed March 2, 2020.

  3. Glencore. "Approval of the Withdrawal of Listing and Reminder to Shareholders." Accessed March 2, 2020.

  4. Glencore. "Preliminary Results 2019," Page 12. Accessed March 2, 2020. 

  5. Glencore. "Preliminary Results 2019," Page 1. Accessed March 2, 2020.

  6. Glencore. "What We Do: Metals & Minerals." Accessed March 2, 2020.

  7. Glencore. "What We Do: Energy." Accessed March 2, 2020.

  8. Glencore Agriculture. "What We Do: Marketing." Accessed March 2, 2020.