ATLAS Consolidated Mining Corp. said its subsidiary Carmen Copper Corp. is well on its way to completing a turnaround, even as its Berong Nickel Project remains under maintenance.
Based on a report, Carmen Copper’s core net income hit P1.248 billion, while its reported net income stood at P670 million in 2010, an improvement from a net loss of P1.662 billion a year earlier.
Atlas said shipments from Carmen Copper increased by 60 percent from 36.6 million pounds in 2009 to more than 58.7 million pounds in 2010, resulting in a 96 percent year-on-year increase in gross revenue from P4.519 billion to P8.851 billion this year.
Average daily milling throughput increased from 21,864 dry metric tons (DMT) per day in 2009 to 33,524 DMT per day in 2010, with the throughput peaking at 39,320 DMT a day in the fourth quarter of 2010.
In 2010, the average grade milled was 0.3 percent and the average copper price realized was $7,034 per ton.
For this year, Atlas said Carmen Copper will invest in improving its throughput and average grade, while lowering its costs. The main areas of investment are accessing the higher-grade ore body through an open pit, which was begun in the first quarter of 2011, as well as upgrading key mill components.
Carmen Copper expects an unaudited and unadjusted net income of around $24 million for the first quarter of 2011.
Atlas is bullish about the long-term prospects of its subsidiary and cautiously optimistic on the continuing strength of copper prices.
As added insurance, Carmen Copper has purchased put options for 2011 giving it an average floor price of $8,148/tonne for 30,250 tonnes of copper metal.
Atlas said its Berong Nickel Project remained on care and maintenance for 2010, resulting in a net loss of P129 million from the previous year’s P142.4 million.
“Atlas is vigorously working with its partners Toledo Mining Corp. and European Nickel PLC to restart mining and direct shipping operations in 2011 given higher nickel prices,” Atlas said.
It aims to restart the operations of the Berong project in the second quarter.
The company also plans to conduct an exploration program of its most highly prospective properties beginning this year.
It also plans to finalize studies on the best possible use for its Malubog dam asset.
Atlas shares fell to P15.90 apiece on Tuesday from P16.10 the day before.