TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb 20, 2014) - Lundin Mining Corporation (LUN.TO)(OMX:LUMI) ("Lundin Mining" or the "Company") today reported net earnings of $42.1 million ($0.07 per share) for the quarter and $136.7 million ($0.23 per share) for the year ended December 31, 2013. Cash flows of $53.9 million were generated from operations in the quarter and $153.7 million for the year, not including the Company's significant attributable cash flows from Tenke Fungurume of $141.8 million.
Paul Conibear, President and CEO commented, "We are pleased with our financial performance in 2013. Throughout the year, we focused on achieving reliable operating results and capital investment discipline on relatively low-risk, attractive return growth projects while maintaining a strong balance sheet. Our strategy remains unchanged for 2014, and we look forward to delivering another strong year of performance from all of our operations and bringing the high grade Eagle mine on stream by year end."
|Summary financial results for the quarter and year-to-date:|
|Three months ended||Twelve months ended|
|December 31||December 31|
|US$ Millions (except per share amounts)||2013||2012||2013||2012|
|Basic earnings per share||0.07||(0.03||)||0.23||0.21|
|Cash flow from operations||53.9||49.4||153.7||194.0|
|Ending cash position||116.6||275.1||116.6||275.1|
|1 Operating earnings is a non-GAAP measure defined as sales, less operating costs (excluding depreciation) and general and administrative costs.|
Wholly-owned operations: Copper and nickel production exceeded the high end of our production guidance, while zinc and lead met our overall targets. Higher throughput at Neves-Corvo resulted in better than expected copper production, while nickel and copper production at Aguablanca was assisted by better than expected throughput, grades and recoveries.
- Neves-Corvo produced 56,544 tonnes of copper and an annual record of 53,382 tonnes of zinc in 2013. Operational improvements generated higher throughput levels, but slightly lower recoveries resulted in lower copper production compared with the prior year. The 2012 zinc plant expansion and initial mining of the higher grade Lombador deposit generated record zinc metal production in 2013. Copper cash costs1 of $1.90/lb for the year were in line with latest guidance ($1.90/lb), but higher than the prior year ($1.79/lb).
- At Zinkgruvan, zinc and lead production for the year of 71,366 and 32,874 tonnes, respectively, were negatively impacted by paste backfill and local ground control issues resulting in lower production than the prior year and slightly lower volumes than expected. Cash costs for zinc of $0.32/lb were slightly higher than latest guidance ($0.30/lb) and the prior year ($0.13lb), largely as a result of lower volumes.
- Aguablanca had strong production performance throughout the year, generating 7,574 tonnes of nickel and 6,242 tonnes of copper, well above guidance. Cash costs of $3.78/lb of nickel for the year benefited from higher production levels and was significantly below guidance of $4.50/lb.
Tenke: Tenke continued to perform well, setting an annual production record, despite experiencing power interruptions in the second half of the year.
- Lundin's attributable share of annual production included 50,346 tonnes of copper cathode and 3,060 tonnes of cobalt in hydroxide, exceeding copper production guidance of 50,000 tonnes. The Company's attributable share of Tenke's sales included 49,404 tonnes of copper at an average realized price of $3.21/lb and 2,784 tonnes of cobalt at an average realized price of $8.02/lb.
- Attributable operating cash flow from Tenke for 2013 was $168.4 million. Cash distributions of $141.8 million were received by Lundin Mining in the year, consistent with guidance provided at the beginning of 2013.
- Operating cash costs for the year were $1.21/lb of copper sold, slightly better than latest guidance of $1.24/lb and prior year's cost of $1.23/lb.
- Operating earnings for the year ended December 31, 2013 were $243.1 million, a decrease of $65.6 million from the $308.7 million reported in 2012. The decrease was primarily attributable to lower realized metal prices and prior period price adjustments ($58.8 million), lower sales volumes ($18.8 million), unfavourable exchange rates ($12.0 million), and a change in sales mix ($9.5 million), partially offset by higher operating earnings from a full year of production at Aguablanca ($38.4 million).
- For the year ended December 31, 2013, sales of $727.8 million increased $6.7 million from the prior year ($721.1 million) which was mainly as a result of the restart of operations at Aguablanca ($91.9 million), offset by lower realized metal prices and prior period price adjustments, lower overall sales volume, and a change in sales mix.
- Average London Metal Exchange ("LME") metal prices for copper, zinc, and nickel for the year ended December 31, 2013 were lower (2% - 14%) than that of the prior year, while lead prices improved slightly (4%) in 2013.
- Operating costs (excluding depreciation) of $461.2 million in the current year were $76.2 million higher than the prior year of $385.0 million largely as a result of the restart of operations at Aguablanca ($53.8 million), higher net per unit production costs ($10.4 million) and unfavourable foreign exchange rates ($12.0 million).
- Net earnings of $136.7 million ($0.23 per share) in the current year were $13.5 million higher than the $123.2 million ($0.21 per share) reported in 2012.
Excluding the after-tax impairment loss of $62.1 million recorded in 2012 related to Aguablanca, net earnings in 2013 were $48.6 million lower than 2012. Earnings were impacted by:
- lower operating earnings primarily due to lower realized metal prices and sales volumes ($65.6 million); and
- higher depreciation, depletion and amortization expense ($25.8 million) as a result of higher production at Neves-Corvo and the restart of production at Aguablanca; offset by
- investment tax credits of $14.3 million received at Neves-Corvo;
- $15.1 million in insurance proceeds for business interruption at the Aguablanca mine received in the current year (2012: $7.9 million); and
- lower exploration and business development expenditures ($22.4 million).
- Cash flow from operations for the year was $153.7 million compared to $194.0 million for 2012. The comparative decrease in the cash flow is mostly attributable to lower operating earnings.
- On March 29, 2013, the Company announced completion of the acquisition of 24% of the Kokkola cobalt refinery located in Finland and the related sales and marketing business ("Freeport Cobalt"), which now provides direct end-market access for the cobalt hydroxide production from Tenke.
The Company holds an effective 24% ownership interest in Freeport Cobalt, with Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. ("Freeport", or "FCX") acting as operator holding a 56% ownership interest, and La Générale des Carrières et des Mines ("Gécamines"), the Congolese state mining company, holding a 20% interest in Freeport Cobalt.
The total consideration paid by the Freeport/Lundin partnership was $348 million, excluding cash acquired. Under the terms of the agreement, there is the potential for additional consideration of up to $110 million over a period of three years from acquisition date, contingent upon the achievement of revenue-based performance targets. Lundin Mining's share of the investment, including acquired cash, was $116.3 million based on a 30%/70% split with Freeport, which amounts will be repaid prior to any shareholder distributions.
- On July 17, 2013, the Company completed the acquisition of the high grade Eagle nickel/copper underground mine and associated Humboldt mill ("Eagle Project" or "Eagle") from Rio Tinto Nickel Company, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto plc ("Rio Tinto"). The Eagle Project is located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA. Total consideration paid was $314.9 million, consisting of a $250.0 million purchase amount plus project expenditures from January 1, 2013 until transaction closing of $64.9 million. The Company drew down $200 million on its revolving credit facility and utilized cash on hand to fund this acquisition.
- On September 10, 2013, the Company reported its Mineral Reserve and Resource estimates as at June 30, 2013, and filed an independent National Instrument 43‐101 Technical Report for its Eagle nickel/copper project on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) on July 26, 2013. The Neves‐Corvo and Zinkgruvan mines had increases in total Mineral Reserves from prior year's estimates.
- On October 7, 2013, the Company completed amendments to its credit agreement to provide for a new term loan of $250 million and an extension on the maturity of the existing $350 million revolving credit facility to October 2017. This arrangement is expected to provide a very flexible, cost effective funding package to support completion of construction of the Eagle Project. See press releases entitled "Lundin Mining Secures Commitments for Eagle Project Funding", dated September 16, 2013 and "Lundin Mining Completes $600 Million Debt Facilities for Eagle Project Funding", dated October 7, 2013.
Financial Position and Financing
- Net debt2 position at December 31, 2013 was $112.1 million compared to a net cash position of $265.1 million at December 31, 2012.
- The $377.2 million decrease in net cash during the year was primarily attributable to the acquisitions of Eagle ($318.0 million, including acquisition costs of $3.1 million) and Freeport Cobalt ($116.3 million) and investments in mineral properties, plant and equipment of $243.7 million. These uses of cash were offset by cash flow from operations of $153.7 million and distributions from Tenke of $141.8 million.
- The Company has corporate term and revolving debt facilities available for borrowing up to $600 million. At December 31, 2013 the Company had $240.3 million committed against these facilities, leaving debt capacity of $359.7 million available for future drawdowns.
2014 Production and Cost Guidance
- Production guidance for the three-year period of 2014 through 2016 for wholly-owned operations remains unchanged from the guidance provided on December 4, 2013 (see news release entitled "Lundin Mining Provides Operating Outlook for 2014-2016").
- Guidance on Tenke's production and cash cost has been updated to reflect the most recent guidance provided by Freeport.
- Production and cash cost guidance for 2014 are as follows:
|(contained tonnes)||Tonnes||Cash Costsa|
|Copper||Neves-Corvo||50,000 - 55,000||$1.90/lb|
|Zinkgruvan||3,000 - 4,000|
|Aguablanca||5,000 - 6,000|
|Eagle||2,000 - 3,000|
|Wholly-owned||60,000 - 68,000|
|Total attributable||108,400 - 116,400|
|Zinc||Neves-Corvo||60,000 - 65,000|
|Zinkgruvan||75,000 - 80,000||$0.35/lb|
|Total||135,000 - 145,000|
|Lead||Neves-Corvo||2,000 - 2,500|
|Zinkgruvan||27,000 - 30,000|
|Total||29,000 - 32,500|
|Nickel||Aguablanca||6,000 - 7,000||$4.50/lb|
|Eagle||2,000 - 3,000|
|Total||8,000 - 10,000|
|a||Cash costs remain dependent upon exchange rates (forecast at EUR/USD:1.30, USD/SEK:6.50) and metal prices (forecast at Cu: $3.15/lb, Zn: $0.87/lb, Pb: $1.00/lb, Ni: $6.50/lb, Co: $12.00/lb).|
|b||Freeport has provided 2014 sales and cash costs guidance. Tenke's 2014 production is assumed to approximate Freeport's sales guidance provided.|
- Neves-Corvo: Copper production is expected to be maintained above 50,000 tonnes per annum with an increasing zinc by-product credit. The production forecast assumes that the zinc plant will be used exclusively to process zinc ore, though the plant has already proven to have the flexibility to process either zinc or copper ores.
- Zinkgruvan: Zinc production is expected to remain relatively steady, as plans to increase throughput by investment in a new front end of the concentrator have been deferred indefinitely.
- Aguablanca: The Company has approved development of the underground project which is expected to result in production continuing until 2018. Total capital expenditures for the project are expected to be approximately $30 million spread over the period 2014 - 2017. Economics of the underground project are expected to be very attractive with a rapid payback period, even at current depressed nickel prices.
- Eagle: The project remains on schedule and budget. Shipment of the first saleable concentrates of copper and nickel are expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2014.
- Tenke: Freeport expects sales of copper in 2014 to be largely consistent with that of 2013, with copper cathode sales of approximately 202,000 tonnes, and an increase in cobalt sales to 13,600 tonnes.
2014 Capital Expenditure Guidance
- Capital expenditures for 2014 are expected to be $460 million including Eagle and excluding Tenke (compared to $244 million in 2013, on the same basis). Major capital investments for 2014 are as follows:
- Sustaining capital in European operations - $100 million (2013: $100 million), consisting of approximately $55 million for Neves-Corvo, $40 million for Zinkgruvan and $5 million across other sites.
- New investment capital in European operations - $60 million (2013: $46 million), consisting of:
- Lombador Phase I - $38 million: For underground vertical and horizontal development and associated mine infrastructure related to the development of the upper Lombador ore bodies for future high grade zinc and copper production.
- Lombador Phase II and underground drilling - $6 million: For horizontal development and ongoing exploration drilling in the lower parts of the Lombador ore bodies.
- Neves-Corvo zinc plant expansion and shaft upgrade project studies - $5 million: For the installation of a zinc tailings recovery circuit and further studies on increasing the capacity of the main Santa Barbara hoisting shaft.
- Aguablanca underground mining project - $10 million: For ramp and initial ore body development and the installation of associated mine infrastructure.
- New investment in Eagle Project - $300 million (2013: $98 million) to complete construction of the Humboldt mill and Eagle mine.
- New investment in Tenke - $50 million (2013: $62 million), estimated by the Company as its share of the remaining Phase II expansion costs and other expansion related initiatives and sustaining capital funding for 2014. All of the capital expenditures are expected to be self-funded by cash flow from Tenke operations.
If current metal prices and operating conditions prevail and construction of future phases of expansion are not commenced in 2014, the Company believes it is reasonable to expect Lundin's attributable cash distributions from Tenke to be in the range of $130 to $150 million in 2014.
- Total exploration expenses for 2014 (excluding Tenke) are estimated to be $40 million (2013: $34 million). These expenditures will be principally directed towards underground and surface mine exploration at Neves-Corvo, Zinkgruvan and Eagle, and on select greenfields exploration programs and new business development activities in South America and Eastern Europe.
About Lundin Mining
Lundin Mining Corporation is a diversified Canadian base metals mining company with operations and development projects in Portugal, Sweden and Spain and the US, producing copper, zinc, lead and nickel. In addition, Lundin Mining holds a 24% equity stake in the world-class Tenke Fungurume copper/cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the Freeport Cobalt Oy business, which includes a cobalt refinery located in Kokkola, Finland.
On Behalf of the Board,
Paul Conibear, President and CEO
Forward Looking Statements
Certain of the statements made and information contained herein is "forward-looking information" within the meaning of the Ontario Securities Act. This report includes, but is not limited to, forward looking statements with respect to the Company's estimated full year metal production, cash costs, exploration expenditures, and capital expenditures, as noted in the Outlook section and elsewhere in this document. These estimates and other forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual events or results to differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, risks and uncertainties relating to the estimated cash costs, timing and amount of production from the Eagle Project, cost estimates for the Eagle Project, foreign currency fluctuations; risks inherent in mining including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, unusual or unexpected geological formations, ground control problems and flooding; risks associated with the estimation of mineral resources and reserves and the geology, grade and continuity of mineral deposits; the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with the Company's expectations; the potential for and effects of labour disputes or other unanticipated difficulties with or shortages of labour or interruptions in production; actual ore mined varying from estimates of grade, tonnage, dilution and metallurgical and other characteristics; the inherent uncertainty of production and cost estimates and the potential for unexpected costs and expenses, commodity price fluctuations; uncertain political and economic environments; changes in laws or policies, foreign taxation, delays or the inability to obtain necessary governmental permits; litigation risks; and other risks and uncertainties, including those described under Risk Factors Relating to the Company's Business in the Company's Annual Information Form and in each Management's Discussion and Analysis. Forward-looking information may also be based on other various assumptions including, without limitation, the expectations and beliefs of management, the assumed long term price of copper, zinc, lead and nickel; that the Company can access financing, appropriate equipment and sufficient labour and that the political environment where the Company operates will continue to support the development and operation of mining projects. Should one or more of these risks and uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
1 Cash cost/lb of copper, zinc or nickel are non-GAAP measures defined as all cash costs directly attributable to mining operating, less royalties and by-product credits.
2 Net cash/debt is a non-GAAP measure defined as available unrestricted cash less long-term debt and finance leases.