First Quantum profit up; fixes problems at Cobre Panama


Oct 30 (Reuters) - Canadian base metal miner First QuantumMinerals Ltd reported higher third-quarter earnings onWednesday on the back of increased production, in part due toits takeover this year of a smaller rival, and despite lowermetals prices received.

The company completed its takeover of Inmet Mining Corp inApril, winning access to one of the world's biggest untappedcopper deposits, the Cobre Panama project in Peru. Inmet peggedthe development cost of the project at $6.2 billion.

First Quantum's review of the project revealed a number of"acquired technical and logistical shortcomings particularlywith project planning and implementation that requiredimmediate, corrective action", Philip Pascall, First Quantum'schief executive and chairman, said in a statement.

He added that "most" of that was now done and that theproject was running well.

Net earnings attributable to First Quantum shareholders roseto $143 million, or 24 cents a share, from $107.3 million, or 23cents, in the same period a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, had been expecting earnings of 21cents a share on revenue of $932.9 million, according to ThomsonReuters I/B/E/S.

Sales revenue rose to $885.4 million from $724.8 million.

Cash costs per pound of copper fell to $1.16 from $1.44while the average realized copper price dropped to $3.10 a poundfrom $3.45 a pound.

First Quantum produced 114,488 tonnes of copper in the thirdquarter, up from 84,144 tonnes in the same period a year ago.

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