Glencore's Mutanda mine in Congo shuts down a month early

GOMA, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Glencore’s Mutanda mine in Democratic Republic of Congo has suspended operations prematurely due to difficulties procuring sulphuric acid, a key input for copper and cobalt extraction, its Mutanda Mining subsidiary told employees in a letter on Monday.

The suspension, effective from Monday, comes more than a month before the world’s biggest cobalt mine was set to go into care and maintenance. Glencore had announced in August it would suspend the mine from year-end, for two years.

“Mutanda Mining is forced to halt extraction and treatment of copper and cobalt earlier than planned due to difficulties in procuring acid,” the letter from management, dated Nov. 25 and seen by Reuters on Tuesday, said.

A Glencore spokesman confirmed the letter’s contents. (Reporting by Fiston Mahamba, Additional reporting by Helen Reid, Editing by Louise Heavens)