Atlas Mining net income plunges 79%

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Listed miner Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp. said its net income plummeted 79 percent last year as higher revenues were eroded by lower metal prices and higher depreciation, financing, and income tax charges.

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In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Atlas reported its net income reached P397 million in January-December 2014, 79 percent lower than P1.9 billion a year ago.

Among the reasons for the decline, Atlas noted the impact of the expiration of the income tax holiday incentive of wholly-owned subsidiary Carmen Copper Corp. in October 2013.

Revenues up 12%
Increases in volume drove Atlas’ revenues to P16.2 billion in 2014, up by 12 percent from P14.4 billion in 2013.

Despite lower realized metal prices, copper revenues (accounting for 85 percent of total revenues) grew by 10 percent to P13.7 billion as concentrate shipments grew by 14 percent in 2014. Gold revenues also grew by 17 percent to P1.3 billion.

“2014 challenged Atlas Mining to manage the constraints on the optimization of its expanded processing plant and the effects of uncontrollable events such as the drop in world copper prices and unusual weather phenomena,” Atlas Executive Vice President Mr. Adrian Ramos said.

“This year, to reinforce our resilience, the Atlas Mining team will focus on maximizing efficiencies to reduce operating costs, and on enhancing risk mitigation systems,” Ramos added.

Following the commissioning of its expanded processing plant in March this year, Atlas subsidiary Carmen Copper registered a 14 percent increase in its average daily milling throughput to 49,200 tons per day (tpd) from 43,000 tpd in 2013.

Copper recovery likewise increased from 82 percent to 85 percent, which compensated for lower-grade ore mined in 2014.

The improvement in throughput and copper recovery pushed copper production higher by 15 percent to 105.5 million pounds of copper metal in concentrate and gold output by 23 percent to 26,310 ounces.

However, Atlas said that the full impact of the expanded plant has yet to be realized because of process design changes necessary for optimization and weather disturbances in the fourth quarter.

For Berong Nickel Corp. (BNC), where Atlas Mining holds 25 percent equity interest, 2014 proved to be a milestone year as BNC topped the 1 million wet metric tons (wmt) mark for both production and shipment numbers.

Production grew more than two fold to 1.3 million wet metric tons, while shipments grew significantly by 58 percent. This translated to a net income of P322 million, a turnaround from a net loss position last year.

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