Atlas sees 16% growth in copper shipments
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp. aims to jack up by 16 percent the volume of copper concentrate shipped out of the Toledo mine, which is operated by flagship subsidiary Carmen Copper Corp. (CCC), this 2012.
Atlas vice president and director Adrian Ramos on Friday said the goal this year would be to make 28 to 30 shipments equivalent to about 80 million pounds (lbs) of copper this year. This would amount to about $300 million based on the company’s assumed global price range of $3.60 to $3.90/lb this year.
This will translate to a 3.4-percent increase in its shipment value from $290 million for 69 million lbs of copper last year. The growth in value was expected to be slower than the increase in volume because global prices have softened this year compared to last year when CCC sold copper concentrates for about $1 per lb, Ramos said.
Typically, demand for base metals like copper track the performance of the global economy, which is widely expected to falter this year due to the weak economic performance of the United States, Europe and Japan, and the softening of China’s economy.
Ramos said demand for copper in the next five years would still be good. Although China’s growth is softening, he said it was unlikely that it would suffer from a hard landing.
Most of CCC’s copper exports are consigned to Chinese smelters and shipped through MRI Trading AG. There are some shipments going to Korea, Ramos said. “They love our product because it’s clean,” he said.
For April, Ramos said the three shipments made by CCC was a record for the Atlas group since it resumed copper production in 2008. It was earlier reported that CCC had posted $34.66 million worth of metal exports in April, with 8.58 million pounds of payable copper. This beat the company’s March 2012 record of $30 million, with 7.35 million pounds of payable copper.
The group has about 40,000 to 42,000 daily throughput, up from about 38,000 processed daily last year. The long-term goal is to process more than 60,000 daily. Mining throughput refers to an area of focus when mines want to optimize strong market demand and high prices.
On the entry of the SM group in Atlas, Ramos said this was in line with the goal of bringing a strong strategic partner in the company. The Consunji family also recently invested in the company as a portfolio positioning.
Asked whether more institutional investors would come in, Ramos said: “As we’re trying to educate investors about the company, we would definitely like to bring in institutional investors—real long equity funds.”
The Atlas group’s current mining area has a life span of about 16 years. It has estimated mining reserves of about 460 million tons of copper and a total resource of about 1.5 billion tons. “Part of our strategy is to increase reserves,” he said.
Short URL: http://business.inquirer.net/?p=59353