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Southern Copper reports copper production decline in 2022, net income down 22.3% to $2.6B

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(Kitco News) - Southern Copper (NYSE: SCCO), one of the world’s largest copper producers, announced today that its overall mined copper production in 2022 decreased by 6.6% y-o-y to 894,703 tons.

The company explained that the lower mined copper output in 2022 was attributable to the Cuajone stoppage (22,208 tons) and a temporary decline in ore grades (38,106 tons).

The company’s molybdenum production was 26,240 tons in 2022, which is 13.3% lower than in 2021. This drop was due to a reduction in production at the Toquepala mine, which was driven by lower ore grades, it said.

Mined zinc production in 2022 fell by 10.4% y-o-y to 60,010 tons due to a production decline at the Charcas and Santa Barbara mines. Mined silver production dropped 2.1% in 2022 to 18,562 thousand ounces, which reflected a decrease in production at the Peruvian operations and at the La Caridad mine, the company added.

Southern Copper’s operating cash cost per pound of copper, including by-product revenue credits, was $0.78 in 2022, which represented an increase of 16.5% compared to the $0.67 reported in 2021, primarily due to an increase in the production cost and to the unit cost effect generated by a 6.6% decrease in pounds of copper produced.

The company said that its 2022 net income was $2,638.5 million, 22.3% lower than in 2021. The net income margin in 2022 was 26.3%, versus 31.1% in 2021.

On January 26, 2023, the company’s Board of Directors authorized a dividend of $1.00 per share payable on March 1st, 2023 for shareholders of record at the close of business on February 14th, 2023.

Looking ahead, the company said it continues to focus on expansion and expect to deliver ore to the Caridad concentrator from the Pilares mine in 2Q23, contributing with 35,000 tonnes of copper annually. Additionally, the new zinc concentrator at Buenavista is expected to begin operations in 2H23 generating 100,000 tons of zinc and 20,000 tons of copper per year.

Southern Copper is one of the largest integrated copper producers in the world. The company believes it currently has the largest copper reserves in the industry. The company is 88.9% owned by Grupo Mexico. The company operates mining units and metallurgical facilities in Mexico and Peru and conducts exploration activities in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru.

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