Listed firm Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp. slipped into the red in the first half of the year due to lower metal prices in the world market and lower copper output.
In a statement, Atlas reported a net loss of P611 million in the January-June 2015 period compared to a net income of P989 million in the same period a year ago.
“The loss was due mainly to the 39 percent decline in revenues as lower metal prices and volumes were realized in 2015,” said Atlas Mining president Adrian Ramos.
Although copper prices improved during the second quarter, Ramos said that the average realized copper price of $2.67/lb was still 15 percent lower than the $3.15/lb realized in the first half of 2014. Similarly, the average realized gold price dropped 7 percent to $1,201/oz from $1,295/oz the previous year.
For the first six months of 2015, the company’s revenue amounted to P5.2 billion, down from P8.6 billion a year ago.
Copper production of Atlas Mining’s wholly owned subsidiary Carmen Copper Corporation declined by 13 percent to 46.4 million pounds of copper metal in concentrate in the first six months of the year due to unusually heavy rainfall, pit slope ground movement and necessary maintenance activities in the expanded processing plant.
Correspondingly, total volume of copper concentrate shipments dropped 13 percent to 77,500 dry metric tons (dmt) during the January-June period. Copper metal content fell by 14 percent to 45.2 million pounds of copper metal in concentrate, while gold content increased by 9 percent to 12,043 ounces.
Production volumes improved in the second quarter as a result of ongoing work to improve key operations and complete maintenance activities.
Copper metal in concentrates rose to 24 million pounds, boosted by higher head grade, higher milling tonnage and better copper recovery. The realized copper grade improved to 0.299 percent versus 0.285 percent in the first quarter, as mining operations reverted back to the higher-grade benches.
Milling tonnage tracked 4 percent higher to 4.3 million tons, buoyed by better average daily throughput in the expanded processing plant. Average daily throughput increased to 54,000 tons per day (tpd) in the month of June, lifting the second quarter average to 47,227 tpd from 46,000 tpd the previous quarter.
Spurred by encouraging production volumes in the second quarter of 2015 and favorable realized metal prices in April and May, revenues grew 6 percent quarter-on-quarter to P2.8 billion, Atlas Mining said.
This growth in revenue, coupled with robust equity earnings from Berong Nickel (P182 million), assisted the company to post a net income of P26 million in the second quarter, compared to a net loss of P637million in the first quarter.
“We are making significant progress towards addressing all of the issues that hampered production during the first half of 2015. We will continue to address those issues in order to maximize production and be competitive in the current difficult environment,” Ramos said.
The executive said they are optimistic that Atlas will be able to make up for the shortfall in production in the second half of the year.