(Adds production data, analyst forecast)
May 1 Canadian base metal miner First Quantum
Minerals Ltd reported lower first-quarter earnings on
Thursday due to weaker metal prices even as it increased
production across all the metals it mines.
The company, which primarily mines copper but also produces
nickel and gold, said earnings fell to $126.8 million, or 22
cents a share, in the three months through March, from $153.8
million, or 32 cents, a year earlier.
Analysts, on average, expected First Quantum to report
earnings of 25 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters
The company, which took over rival Inmet Mining last year,
gaining control of the huge Cobre Panama project, is poised to
become one of the world's largest copper producers over the next
five years, with a number of projects, including Cobre Panama in
Central America, set to begin production.
The Vancouver-based miner produced 113,118 tonnes of copper
in the quarter, up 42 percent from the same period a year ago.
Nickel output rose 7 percent and gold production 8 percent.
Cash costs per pound of copper fell 9 percent to $1.38,
while the average copper price the company received fell to
$3.10 a pound from $3.48 a pound.
First Quantum left unchanged its full-year forecasts for
production and costs.
(Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; editing by David
Gregorio and Matthew Lewis)