Phoenix-based Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold reported 1st quarter profits up 20-fold, from $43 million last year to $897 million this year. The company will double its stock dividends according to a lengthy analysis on Mineweb.
CEO Richard Adkerson is reported saying that global demand is picking up for copper, so the company is getting ready to ramp up production at the Morenci mine which had been cut in half to 500,000 short tons a day. Adkerson is quoted, "We are looking at increasing our performance at Morenci [right], which had been cut significantly by 20% and we are very encouraged that we are being able to find good workers to come back into the work force."
He also said that a sulfur burner project at the Safford, Arizona mine, will greatly reduce the company's need to buy sulfuric acid in the market place and give them more flexibility.
There's a related story about Freeport's significant gold production, which amounted to 478,000 ounces last quarter. Freeport continues to focus on copper rather than pursue gold production as many others are doing.