Saturday, May 09, 2015

Copper price rebound aids Arizona companies, mines

After copper dropped to its lowest price in five years at the end of 2014, it's not only less volatile, but even rising.   Copper inventories do not look to be excessive which bodes well for copper producers.  [Photo credit, Freeport McMoRan]

Prices of copper miners have also rebounded.  Phoenix-based Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold, the world's largest primary copper company, is off recent lows, up $5 to $23 per share.

However, the loss of earnings while copper prices were down, particularly hurt high cost producers and has them taking precautionary measures.
For example, Capstone which runs the Pinto Valley mine, is concerned enough to acquire price protection.  While protecting the downside, it also comes with a cap of $3.10 /lb, limiting future earnings if prices improve further.  Capstone is also pushing hard to lower costs.   The company's report on operations ending March 31, 2015,  says the mine produced 15,809 tonnes of copper in concentrates and cathode at a C1 cash cost1 of $1.93 per pound of payable copper produced.  Capstone says it completed "a reorganization to improve operational efficiency and accountability. As part of the redesign, approximately 40 salaried staff left the organization and a further 30 people changed roles, resulting in a reduction to the salaried workforce of 15% and restructuring costs of $2.2 million recognized in the quarter."

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