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Southern Copper profits fall sharply

Keywords: Tags  Southern Copper Corp, second quarter, profit, copper, Grupo Mexico,

NEW YORK — Southern Copper Corp.’s earnings fell sharply in the second quarter on lower copper prices and a decline in production.

The company posted net income of $372.7 million for the three months ended June 30, down 33.9 percent from $563.5 million in the same period last year on sales that fell 15 percent to $1.41 billion.

The earnings report said copper production slid 4.9 percent to 157,592 tonnes in the second quarter from 165,717 tonnes a year earlier, and average Comex copper prices fell 8.5 percent to $3.25 per pound from $3.55 in the same comparison.

Phoenix-based Southern Copper is a subsidiary of Americas Mining Corp. (AMC), the mining division of Mexican conglomerate Grupo Mexico. AMC, which includes Southern Copper and Tucson, Ariz.-based Asarco LLC, saw its second-quarter net income slide 40.6 percent to $325.2 million from $547.4 million on an 18.5-percent decline in sales to $1.71 billion from $2.09 billion.

Southern Copper, which has operations in Mexico and Peru, said its new Buenavista SX/EW III plant in Mexico is 62 percent complete and should start operations in the second quarter of 2014. The company expects the plant to produce 120,000 tonnes of copper per year. 

Southern Copper completed construction earlier this year of its first molybdenum plant at Buenavista, and is expected to begin commercial production in the third quarter at an annual rate of 2,000 tonnes.

“Despite the current turbulence in the metals market, we maintain our commitment to the development of our capital program,” Grupo Mexico chairman and chief executive officer German Larrea said in a statement. He noted that total production capacity at Southern Copper’s Buenavista operations “should increase from 180,000 tons to 488,000 tons of copper by 2015.”

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