Freeport McMoRan ramped up copper production in Arizona and New Mexico by 13% in the second quarter, despite stagnant prices, as it pursued its strategy of expanding in the US, which the company says has become one of the friendliest locales in the world for mining because of labor laws and more reliable environmental and permitting regulations.
Phoenix-based Freeport, one of the world’s top copper producers, posted stagnant second-quarter profit as the global slowdown in economic growth nibbled at the bottom lines of companies that mine essential commodities such as iron ore and copper. Net profit was $482 million, the same as a year earlier. Earnings per share declined slightly to 46 cents from 49 cents.
Freeport’s revenue increased 29% to $5.52 billion from $4.29 billion, boosted by recent investments in U.S.-focused oil and gas businesses.
The copper 3-month price closed up Wednesday, July 23 at $7,064 per metric ton, halting two days of weakening prices on the LME with a 1.1 percent shift. Also on the LME, the cash price of primary copper gained 1.0 percent to finish at $7,060 per metric ton.
At JPY 749,000 ($7,381), the Japanese copper cash price finished the market day up 0.8 percent per metric ton. The price of US copper producer grade 122 rose 0.3 percent to $3.89 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 110 increased 0.3 percent to $3.89 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 gained 0.2 percent to finish at $4.08 per pound.
Chinese copper prices were flat for the day. The price of Chinese copper bar held steady at CNY 51,000 ($8,221) per metric ton. The Chinese copper cash price remained essentially flat at CNY 51,200 ($8,253) per metric ton. The price of Chinese copper wire saw little movement at CNY 50,790 ($8,187) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap continues hovering around CNY 44,300 ($7,141) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.