Freeport beats revised Q2 copper sales, shares jump

Grasberg, the world’s second-biggest copper mine. Image from Freeport Indonesia.

Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX) announced on Monday that it exceeded several key performance targets included in its April revised operating plans.

According to the company, second-quarter 2020 copper sales are expected to exceed the estimate of 690 million pounds by approximately 8% and gold sales are expected to exceed the estimate of 165,000 ounces by approximately 10%.

Freeport said that the Lone Star project in Arizona is substantially complete and on track to produce approximately 200 million pounds of copper per year, beginning in the second half of 2020.

Midday Monday, Freeport’s stock was up 7.9% on the NYSE

“Significant progress was achieved at Cerro Verde during the second quarter to restore operations following covid-19 restrictions imposed by the Peruvian government,” the company said in a press release.

During June, Cerro Verde mill operations averaged 315,000 metric tonnes of ore per day, approximately 80% of the 2019 annual average. Meanwhile, Freeport continues to operate its open-pit copper mining complex El Abra in Chile.

Grasberg

After cutting its workforce at Grasberg in May amid a surge in covid-19 cases, Freeport expects to ramp-up underground production at the world’s second-biggest copper mine.

“During the second quarter, combined production rates from the Grasberg Block Cave and Deep MLZ underground mines exceeded 54,000 metric tonnes of ore per day, approximately 9% above the April 2020 estimate and 46% above the first-quarter 2020 average,” the company said.

At the end of June, combined production from the Grasberg Block Cave and DMLZ averaged approximately 70,000 metric tonnes 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.

Freeport expects second-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to approximate $650 million and expects to record a net loss before nonrecurring items (adjusted net income) approximating $0.03 per share.

Midday Monday, Freeport’s stock was up 7.9% on the NYSE. The company has a $18 billion market capitalization.

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