HudBay: another casualty of weak metals prices announces millions in losses

Toronto-based HudBay Minerals (NYSE: HBM) has recorded a $52 million loss, $0.31 per share, in Q2 2013 – the result of low sales volumes and low metals prices.

Total revenue this quarter was $130 million – a $59 million drop compared to Q2 2012.

HudBay attributes the weak sales to the permanent closures of two operations last year, Trout Lake and Chisel North mines.

The company’s operating cash flow was reduced to negative $10 million as sales fell.

Cash costs more than doubled to $2.22 per pound of copper sold – mainly the result of a stream agreement with Silver Wheaton dating back to August 2012.

Production volume was down in all ores except for zinc

In response to weak market conditions HudBay says it has cut costs by about $100 million, which includes reductions in exploration spending, deferrals of some expenditures and a $0.01 per share slash in semi-annual dividends.

However, the company which in February announced that it was looking to “spend up to $400 million to expand its portfolio,” also says that construction costs on its $1.5 billion Constancia copper project have increased by 15%.

Additionally, a planned investment of $9 million on the Snow Lake concentrator at the Lalor mine is expected to double production capacity to 2,700 tonnes per day by mid-2014 – an investment which the miner says will allow it to deffer the $325 million construction of a new Lalor concentrator.

HudBay may not only have its financials to worry about: The company recently made headlines over allegations of shootings and rapes by its security personnel in Guatemala. The company may face lawsuits in Canada.

The miner dropped 3.7% on the New York exchange on Wednesday, trading at $6.73 – close to its year-to-date low of $6.35.

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