Freeport-McMoRan reported third-quarter 2020 copper sales of 848 million lb, which were 7% higher than the July estimate of 790 million lb of copper. This was due to higher sales from North American and South American mines. Third-quarter 2020 copper sales were higher than third-quarter 2019 sales volumes of 795 million lb of copper, primarily reflecting higher copper ore grades in Indonesia, partly offset by lower sales from North America and South America as a result of lower mining rates associated with the April 2020 revised operating plans, according to the company.

“Our seasoned, motivated and value-focused global organization delivered strong results during the third quarter and continues to demonstrate the ‘Freeport Edge,’ President and CEO Richard C. Adkerson said. “Our team is protecting the health of our workforce and communities where we operate as a first priority, as we serve customers, operate efficiently and advance significant growth in production.”

He added that strong cash flows, growing volumes, effective cost management and positive market outlook will provide “momentum to continue to strengthen our balance sheet, increase returns to shareholders and generate long-term values for all stakeholders.”

Third-quarter 2020 gold sales of 234,000 ounces (oz) were 6% higher than the July estimate of 220,000 oz of gold, primarily reflecting higher ore grades in Indonesia. Third-quarter 2020 gold sales were lower than third-quarter 2019 sales volumes of 243,000 oz of gold, primarily reflecting lower mining and milling rates associated with the ramp-up of underground mining at PT Freeport Indonesia (PT-FI), partly offset by timing of shipments in third-quarter 2019.

Third-quarter 2020 molybdenum sales of 20 million lb were higher than the July estimate of 18 million lb, but were lower than third-quarter 2019 sales of 22 million lb.

Consolidated sales volumes for 2020 are expected to be 3.18 billion lb of copper, 800,000 oz of gold and 80 million lb of molybdenum. Metal production is expected to improve significantly in 2021 with estimated consolidated sales of 3.85 billion lb of copper and 1.4 million oz of gold, according to the company.