Boliden’s first quarter report was characterized by strong levels of mined production and stable production at the copper smelters. “The metal prices trend was favorable throughout the quarter, as is reflected in the fact that both [mining and smelting] posted strong operating profits,” said says Lennart Evrell, president, and CEO of Boliden. “This was particularly true for mines, which achieved a new record level for a single quarter. Production levels continued to be good, and Kevitsa, which was acquired last year, is developing well. Furthermore, production at the copper smelters was stable.”

Operating profit for the mines improved in the previous quarter, mainly due to rising metal prices. “Production levels were healthy at the majority of our mines, although it was lower than during the strong previous quarter, where stock reductions also affected earnings positively,” Evrell said. “Lower milled volumes at Tara were offset by higher grades, while copper and zinc production levels at Aitik and Garpenberg, respectively, fell slightly from those in the previous quarter.”

For the smelting division, operating profits, excluding revaluation of process inventory, was down from the previous quarter, largely due to the quantity of free metals at the copper smelters falling from the high levels noted in the previous quarter. Production was stable at Rönnskär, Harjavalta, and Bergsöe. At Odda, the increased design capacity of 200,000 metric tons per year was achieved for extended periods, but an unplanned stoppage affected both feed volumes and zinc production towards the end of the first quarter. The company said measures to improve zinc recovery levels at Kokkola are ongoing.