Miner Freeport-McMoRan beats quarterly profit estimates on strong production

By Thomson Reuters Apr 23, 2024 | 7:06 AM

(Reuters) -Copper miner Freeport-McMoRan beat Wall Street estimates for first-quarter profit on Tuesday, helped by higher production and easing costs.

The mining giant said its quarterly production of copper rose to 1.1 billion pounds from 965 million pounds a year earlier, helped by a 49% jump in output from its Indonesia operations.

Freeport-McMoRan said it was working with the Indonesian government, which has put a ban on raw material exports, to obtain approvals to continue shipping copper concentrates and anode slimes. Its current license is set to expire in May.

In the reported quarter, the company also benefited from strong prices of gold, which it produces as a byproduct from its key Grasberg mine in Indonesia.

Its total gold sales volume more than doubled to 568,000 ounces in the reported quarter.

The company’s average cash costs per pound of copper in the first quarter were $1.51, lower than last year’s $1.76, helped by strong production and are expected to average at $1.57 for 2024, the company said.

On an adjusted basis, the Phoenix, Arizona-based company earned 32 cents per share for the three months ended March 31, compared with the average analyst estimate of 26 cents per share, according to LSEG data.

(Reporting by Sourasis Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)