Latin America’s Southern Copper (SCC) has reported a 4.8pc and 14.5pc decline in its mined copper and zinc production, respectively, for the first quarter of 2021.
The company’s total Q1 2021 mined copper production, including third-party concentrates, was 239,090t (216,899mt) from 251,275t during the same time last year. At the same time, its mined copper production (ex-third-party concentrates) declined 1.5pc this quarter to 238,402t from 241,967t in the previous year.
SCC’s mined zinc production this quarter was 16,466t compared to 19,263t in the same prior-year quarter. The company attributed low Q1 copper production to a 3pc and 1.8pc reduction in output at its Peruvian and La Caridad mines, respectively.
Southern Copper plans to increase copper and zinc production by 100,000t and 20,000t per year, respectively, with the development of a new concentrator at its Buenavista unit in Sonora, Mexico.
Smelted and Refined Production
Smelted copper output declined by 7.2pc to 151,594t in the first quarter of the year from 163,384t in the same three-month period last year. The company’s refined and rod production in Q1 2021 was 5.5pc lower at 202,249t against 214,052t in Q1 2020.
SCC’s refined zinc production dropped 35.7pc in this quarter to 18,368t against 28,560t during the first three months last year.
The company’s copper sales volumes were down 4.5pc this quarter at 240,183t from 251,533t in Q1 2020. Zinc sales volumes took the sharpest nosedive in Q1 2021 dropping by 56.7pc to 12,514t from 28,885t during the same quarter period last year.
However, SCC’s total net sales were up 47.3pc at $2.5bn this quarter from $1.71bn in the previous year due to significantly higher copper and zinc prices.