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Freeport-McMoRan Sees Upbeat Copper, Gold Sales Outlook

Mining News - Published on Tue, 07 Jul 2020

Image Source: Freeport-McMoRan
Freeport-McMoRan Inc has provided an update on its second quarter operational and financial performance and ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2020, FCX announced revised operating plans in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and resulting negative impact on the global economy. The Company is executing the revised operating plans in an effective manner while prioritizing the health and well-being of its employees, their families and communities. FCX has proactively implemented operating protocols at each of its operating sites to contain and mitigate the risk of spread of COVID-19. The Company also continues to work closely with communities where it operates across the globe and has provided monetary support and in-kind contributions of medical supplies, equipment and food. Execution of April 2020 Revised Operating Plans. FCX’s 2020 revised operating plans are focused on safeguarding its business in an uncertain public health and economic environment, advancing the ramp-up of underground production at Grasberg to establish large-scale, low-cost copper and gold production, and advancing initiatives in the Americas to position FCX for significant increases in cash flows in 2021 and beyond.

During the second quarter, FCX met or exceeded several key performance targets included in its April 2020 revised operating plans. Second-quarter 2020 copper sales are expected to exceed the April 2020 estimate of 690 million pounds by approximately 8 percent and gold sales are expected to exceed the April 2020 estimate of 165 thousand ounces by approximately 10 percent.

North America. The revised operating plans were effectively implemented across FCX’s North America operating sites and production, costs and capital management were in line or better than forecast. The Lone Star project is substantially complete and on track to produce approximately 200 million pounds of copper per annum beginning in the second half of 2020.

South America. Significant progress was achieved at Cerro Verde during the second quarter to restore operations following COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Peruvian government in March 2020. Strict health protocols have been implemented and a plan for Cerro Verde was approved by the Peruvian government in second quarter 2020. During June, Cerro Verde mill operations averaged 315,000 metric tons of ore per day, approximately 80 percent of the 2019 annual average. Cerro Verde’s operating rates are in line with the April 2020 operating plan. FCX is continuing to operate El Abra consistent with its April 2020 operating plan while closely monitoring public health conditions in Chile.

Indonesia. The ramp-up of underground production at the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia continues as-planned. During the second quarter, combined production rates from the Grasberg Block Cave and Deep MLZ (DMLZ) underground mines exceeded 54,000 metric tons of ore per day, approximately 9 percent above the April 2020 estimate and 46 percent above the first-quarter 2020 average. At the end of June 2020, combined production from the Grasberg Block Cave and DMLZ averaged approximately 70,000 metric tons of ore per day. PT Freeport Indonesia expects its 2021 copper and gold production to approximate 1.4 billion pounds of copper and 1.4 million ounces of gold, nearly double projected 2020 levels.

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Posted By : Yogender Pancholi on Tue, 07 Jul 2020
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