Pasay—(PHStocks)—Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp. (Atlas Mining, PSE: AT) registered a consolidated net loss of PhP470 million for the first nine months of 2016 compared to PhP1.3 billion for the same period last year due mainly to the elimination of foreign exchange loss charged in 2015. Higher volume of shipments mitigated the impact of lower copper prices.
Foreign exchange loss of PhP1.1 billion was booked for the nine months of 2015 arising from the depreciation of the Philippine Peso against the US dollar as Atlas Mining’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Carmen Copper Corp., was using the Philippine Peso as its functional currency. For the nine months of 2016, there was no foreign exchange loss as Carmen Copper has since adopted the US dollar as its functional currency.
Revenues increased by 4% to PhP8.7 billion driven mainly by an increase in shipment volume. Despite lower realized copper prices copper revenues dropped by only 1% to PhP7.3 billion as volume increased. Gold revenues grew by 41% to PhP1.5 billion on both increased volumes and higher gold price. Copper prices remained weak with average realized copper price at $2.13/lb., 17% lower than $2.57/lb. average last year. Gold, however, improved with average realized gold price increasing 7% to $1,258/oz compared to $1,171/oz in the previous year.
Carmen Copper posted a production of 77.1 million pounds of copper metal in concentrate and 26,039 ounces of gold for year-to-date September, 5% and 20% higher, respectively, than the comparative period in 2015. Correspondingly, copper concentrate shipments were 8% higher at 131,336 dry metric tons (dmt) with copper metal content increasing by 8% to 77 million pounds of copper metal in concentrate, and gold content growing by 24% to 24,706 ounces.
As previously reported, Atlas Mining announced its recovery plan to reduce mill throughput at the Carmen Copper mine from its nameplate capacity of 60,000 tonnes per day (tpd) to 40,000 tpd. The plan also involves reducing waste stripping and operating costs through cost containment initiatives and increased production efficiencies.
With the implementation of its plan, operating cash costs decreased by 2% to PhP6.5 billion from PhP6.7 billion in 2015. The average cash cost per pound of copper remained low at US$1.36/lb. for the three quarters, contracting by 21% from US$1.71/lb. for the same period last year. This was attributed mainly to operational efficiencies, lower input costs and lower waste charged to operations, bringing waste-to-ore ratio to 1.5:1 in 2016 from 1.9:1 in 2015.
Atlas Mining continues to pursue operational efficiencies and cost optimization as key strategies in this period of lower copper prices.