LIMA (Reuters) - Southern Copper Corp (SCCO.N) said on Friday that its net profit doubled to $401.8 million in the third quarter from the same period a year earlier as sales surged on higher copper prices.
The Arizona-based company, controlled by Grupo Mexico (GMEXICOB.MX), added that it expects Peru’s government to issue a construction permit for its stalled $1.4 billion Tia Maria project in the first quarter of next year.
Southern Copper suspended Tia Maria in 2015 to quell deadly protests by farmers worried about its environmental impacts.
The company has said support for the project in the southern region of Arequipa has since grown. It has called for the government of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to issue the construction license for the mine, which would produce 120,000 tonnes of copper per year.
“We are working jointly with the Peruvian government to obtain the construction license ... we expect the license to be issued in the first quarter,” Southern Copper said in its earnings statement.
Peru’s energy and mines ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Southern Copper operates mines in Peru and Mexico and is one of the world’s largest copper producers. It produced 675,759 tonnes in the first nine months of 2017, down 2.1 percent from the same period last year.
An expansion at its Toquepala mine in Peru will likely wrap up in the second quarter, the company said, allowing it to add 100,000 tonnes to annual output.
Southern Copper shares were up 0.7 percent in morning trading.
Reporting By Mitra Taj; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli