NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -05/04/12)- Copper prices have been rallying recently, but fell Wednesday after an announcement by a leading Chinese Copper smelter stating it would begin to export the metal to ease the global shortage. Copper for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange (LME) fell 1.45 percent to $8,300 a ton Wednesday. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Copper Industry and provides equity research on First Quantum Minerals Limited (FM.TO - News) and Taseko Mines Limited (TGB - News) (TKO.TO - News).
Copper inventories in China, the largest consumer and importer of the metal, are currently at record levels. According to a recently article in the Financial Times China's number one copper producer and smelter, Jiangxi Copper, stated they plan to begin exporting large quantities of the metal to help ease the shortage of supply globally. The nation's Copper Industry has agreed to "enough electrolytic copper in a bid to regulate domestic and overseas market demand and supply."
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First Quantum Minerals Ltd. is a rapidly growing mining and metals company currently operating two mines and developing five projects worldwide. Current copper projects are expected to more than triple annual copper production in 2015. The company recently announced that copper production decreased by 13% from the prior year due to lower grade ore processed and two short-term labor-related work stoppages which resulted in an estimated production loss of 2,700 tons. Gross profit was lower than first quarter 2011 as a result of lower realized copper prices, higher operating costs and lower sales volumes.
Taseko Mines is the 75% owner and operator of the Gibraltar Mine, which is the second largest copper-molybdenum mine in Canada. The company recently announced 2012 first quarter total production of 20.8 million pounds of copper and 438,000 pounds of molybdenum for its 75 percent owned Gibraltar Mine. For the first quarter, Taseko's 75 percent share of sales was 12.7 million pounds of copper and 354,000 pounds of molybdenum.
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