NEW YORK Freeport-McMoRan
Copper & Gold Inc.s net income jumped 16.1 percent to
$743 million in the fourth quarter from $640 million in the
same period a year earlier on sales that climbed 8.4 percent to
more than $4.51 billion.
Consolidated copper sales for
the three months ended Dec. 31 increased 18.1 percent to 972
million pounds from 823 million pounds, gold sales soared 91
percent to 254,000 ounces from 133,000 ounces and molybdenum
sales rose 10.5 percent to 21 million pounds from 19 million
pounds, the Phoenix-based company said.
But net income for the full year
fell 33.3 percent to $3.04 billion from $4.56 billion in 2011
on a 13.7-percent decline in sales to $18.01 billion. Full-year
consolidated copper sales slipped 1.4 percent to 3.65 billion
pounds from 3.7 billion pounds in 2011 and gold sales slid 28.6
percent to 1 million ounces from 1.4 million ounces, although
molybdenum sales rose 5.1 percent to 83 million pounds from 79
The company expects to sell 4.3
billion pounds of copper this year, including 940 million
pounds in the first quarter; 1.4 million ounces of gold
(230,000 ounces in the first quarter); and 90 million pounds of
molybdenum (23 million pounds in the first quarter).
Freeport is on track to increase
copper production to more than 5 billion pounds by 2015 from
3.66 billion pounds last year, and remains positive about the
long-term outlook for its business, which includes extensive
"opportunities that the pending oil and gas acquisitions will
provide," president and chief executive officer Richard
Adkerson said in a statement.
Freeport announced Dec. 5 that
it would acquire Plains Exploration & Production Co. and
McMoRan Exploration Co. for $9 billion (
amm.com, Dec. 5). Freeport said the acquisitions
will make it a "premier U.S.-based natural resource
The company faced delays in
receiving higher-grade material at its Grasberg, Indonesia,
mine last year (
amm.com, Oct. 22), but said the issues are mostly
behind it as Grasbergs sales are expected to increase to
1.1 billion pounds this year from 716 million pounds in 2012
and gold sales to 1.2 million ounces from 915,000 ounces.
In North America, where Freeport
operates seven open-pit copper mines, the company said it has
completed projects to increase production, including restarting
certain mining and milling operations and increasing mining
rates at Morenci in Arizona and Chino in New Mexico.
Freeports North American
mines produced 358 million pounds of copper in the fourth
quarter, up 5 percent from 341 million pounds a year earlier;
and 1.36 billion pounds for the full year, an 8.3-percent
increase from 1.26 billion pounds in 2011. North American
molybdenum production of 36 million pounds last year was up
marginally from 2011.