TSX-listed First Quantum Minerals reported comparative earnings of $64-million, net earnings attributable to shareholders of $29-million and cash flows from operating activities of $452-million for the three months ended September 30.
“The third quarter was strong from an operational and financial perspective,” noted CEO and chairperson Philip Pascall.
He indicated that the Cobre Panama copper mine, in Panama City, had restarted normal operations and was back at full production ahead of schedule.
“Almost all of our operations delivered lower costs and a number of new production and cost records were achieved. As promised, we have maintained our focus on balance sheet de-leveraging and I am pleased to report that our net debt position is now beginning to decline.
"We have continued our programme of active balance sheet management with the completion of a senior note offering of $1.5-billion, which has been used to extend our senior debt maturities and reduce our debt service costs,” Pascall said.
He noted that, despite all the challenges from the pandemic, its workforce and operations continued to be resilient.
“This has resulted in a strong operational performance, allowing us to increase our production expectations for the year at slightly improved costs. I am proud of how we continue to navigate this very challenging year, while preparing the company for continued future success,” he acclaimed.
First Quantum produced 211 396 t of copper in the quarter under review − a 10% year-on-year increase, owing to record production at both the Sentinel copper mine, in Zambia, and at Cobre Panama.
Sentinel performed "very well" in the quarter, achieving its highest ever quarterly production of 70 829 t of copper and record low cash costs.
Almost all of the company’s copper operations delivered a reduction in cash costs and total cash costs were at their lowest level in four years.
Meanwhile, First Quantum produced 72 926 oz of gold production for the quarter, a 4% year-on-year increase, reflecting increased gold production at Cobre Panama.
The company has also increased its full-year production guidance to between 750 000 t and 785 000 t of copper, between 245 000 oz and 260 000 oz of gold and between 13 000 t and 15 000 t of nickel.
Sales revenues for the quarter of $1.4-billion, an increase of 42% from the comparable period of 2019, were primarily driven by the commercial sales volumes of copper and gold from Cobre Panama, increased sales volumes at Kansanshi in Zambia, and higher realised metal prices.
First Quantum recorded a gross profit of $346-million for the quarter, compared with a gross profit of $150-million for the same period in 2019.
It ended the quarter with $915-million in net unrestricted cash and cash equivalents and working capital of $1.13-billion.