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First Quantum improves Q4 copper output, beats FY'18 guidance with new record

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First Quantum improves Q4 copper output, beats FY'18 guidance with new record

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. produced 158,304 tonnes of copper in the fourth quarter of 2018 and a record 605,853 tonnes in the full year, beating its 2018 forecast of 595,000 tonnes of copper, according to Jan. 15 preliminary results.

Copper output reached 154,319 tonnes in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 573,963 tonnes in the full year.

Copper sales climbed to 156,212 tonnes in the fourth quarter, up from 151,905 tonnes on a yearly basis. Full-year copper sales reached a record 596,513 tonnes, inching up from 580,130 tonnes sold in 2017.

For full year 2018, First Quantum booked copper production increases at its Sentinel operation and the Kansanshi mine in Zambia, but copper cathode output declined at the Las Cruces mine in Spain.

The company produced 48,039 ounces of gold and sold 53,221 ounces in the fourth quarter, compared to output and sales of 51,904 ounces and 50,723 ounces, respectively, in the same quarter of 2017.

Gold production in the full-year reached 185,414 ounces, dropping from 199,736 ounces in 2017, while sales slipped to 193,072 ounces from 201,376 ounces a year earlier.

The Guelb Moghrein mine in Mauritania and Kansanshi registered decreases in gold production and sales in 2018.

Zinc output in the fourth quarter rose year over year to 7,687 tonnes from 3,556 tonnes, with zinc sales also climbing to 8,268 tonnes from 3,282 tonnes a year earlier.

In full year 2018, zinc production totaled 26,807 tonnes compared to 20,723 tonnes a year earlier, while sales jumped to 26,112 tonnes from 21,851 tonnes.