Santiago, November 28, 2014.- The Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile, Codelco, produces over the first nine months of 2014, 1,360,000 metric tons of fine copper, up by 50,000 tonnes on the same period for 2013. The figure includes production attributable to the percentage of Codelco's share in El Abra and Anglo American Sur S.A.
Production from Codelco's divisions – i.e. excluding the share in El Abra and Anglo American Sur – reached 1,231,000 tonnes in Q3, up 47,000 tonnes on the same period for 2013. As at September last year, Codelco registered 20,000 tonnes of fine copper produced at Ministro Hales, compared to 109,000 tonnes this year.
The most notable increases were seen at the Chuquicamata division (18,000 fine metric tons) and El Teniente (13,000 fine metric tons). Lower production at the Radomiro Tomic division (-58,000 tonnes) is due to the lower grade oxides currently being extracted.
There were also notable increases in the production of molybdenum, up 41%; sulphuric acid (13%) and gold (18%). The biggest increase was seen in the production of silver (144%) which can be explained by the Ministro Hales operation.
Codelco's direct cash cost (C1) fell 7% over the first nine months of 2014 compared to the previous year. This allowed the company to compensate in part for the negative effects of the lower prices of copper and the majority of the other products it sells, with the exception of molybdenum. It also contributed to the increase in production in comparison to 2013.
Vice-president of Administration & Finance Iván Arriagada stated that "Codelco has maintained and strengthened its work to bring down costs and increase productivity with the aim of better tackling a market with prices that are on average lower."
Between January and September 2014 the average copper price was 314.9 cents per pound, down 6% compared to the same period in 2013. The lower copper price explained a drop in revenue of US$ 649 million, added to the effects of the lower value of gold (-12%); silver (-20%) and sulphuric acid (-18%). The price of molybdenum was the only product that showed a positive variation, up 15%.
As such, Codelco's pre-tax profit was US$ 2.3 billion over the first nine months of 2014, US$ 372 million (13.9%) down on the previous year's US$ 2.672 billion. Comparable profit – calculated applying the same tax requirements as prívate sector companies – reached US$ 1.805 billion.
Codelco's direct cash cost (C1) for Q3 2014 was 153.7 cents per pound of copper, 7% less than the cost for the same period in 2013. C1 is the cost used by the mining industry to compare the management of the different companies.
"The reduction in direct costs allows us to become more competitive, an ongoing endeavour to which the whole company is committed," explained Iván Arriagada.
Codelco's total costs and expenses were fairly much in line with those of 2013, at 234.2 cents per pound of copper (an increase of 0.1%). The Net Cathode Cost (C3) fell 0.9%, averaging 216.6 cents per pound. This is the cost that is compared with the London Metal Exchange Price.
Sales revenue for copper came to US$ 7.714 billion for the period January to September 2014, down US$ 1.095 billion on the same period for 2013 due to lower copper prices.
The cost of copper sold for this period was US$ 5.478 billion and as such the gross profit for copper sales was US$ 2.236 billion.
An additional US$ 458 million was generated through sales of byproducts in the same period, up US$ 168 million on the previous year.
Codelco generated profit of US$ 2.3 billion to September 2014, distributed as follows:
|Reserve Tax Law 13.196||768||858|
|Income Tax (60%)||854||950|
|Specific Mining Tax||80||95|
* Equivalent to Codelco's earnings applpying the same tax requirements as private sector companies
As at September 2014, the overall accident frequency rate, including both the company's own personnel and the personnel of contractors, was 1.35 lost time incidents accidents per million hours worked.
In spite of having achieved a year without fatal accidents, the corporation suffered the loss of two collaborators: José Luis Orellana (20/10) and Jaime Gutiérrez Correa (7/11), both working for contractors on the new mine level at El Teniente. After each of the accidents the company concentrated on strengthening safety management, specifically leadership in the field, critical risk identification and the respective controls.