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Freeport extraordinarily positive on copper as solid Q3 earnings beat expectations

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(Kitco News) - Strong copper prices and lower input costs led Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX) solid earnings in the third quarter.

Thursday, the giant copper producer reported net income attributable to common stock in third-quarter 2021 of $1.4 billion, or $0.94 per share; adjusted net income attributable to common stock totaled $1.3 billion, or $0.89 per share, after excluding net credits totaling $79 million, $0.05 per share, the company added.

Looking at production numbers, Freeport said that it produced 987 million pounds of copper, up compared to 844 million pounds produced in the third quarter of 2020. The company also saw its gold production increase to 374,000 ounces, up from 237,000 ounces produced last year.

"Average realized prices in third-quarter 2021 were $4.20 per pound for copper, $1,757 per ounce for gold and $18.61 per pound for molybdenum," the company said.

The company said that average unit net cash costs in third-quarter 2021 were $1.24 per pound of copper. At the same time costs are expected to average $1.33 per pound of copper for the year.

"Our favorable results in the third quarter and year-to-date reflect strong execution by our global team in growing our production safely, efficiently and responsibly. We have established a solid foundation for the future as a leading long-term supplier of copper to support a growing global economy and the transition to clean energy," said Richard Adkerson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Freeport said in a statement.

"We have successfully transitioned our Grasberg minerals district to be the world’s largest underground block-caving operation while maintaining excellent performance throughout our global operations. Our balance sheet is strong and we are prepared to make value enhancing investments in our business while providing shareholders with increasing cash returns consistent with our established financial policy. The outlook for the copper market is extraordinarily positive. As a leader in the global copper industry, Freeport is well positioned for success in generating value for all stakeholders," Adkerson added.

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