Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp. (PSE: AT) reported a net loss of PhP35 million as revenues increased by 9% from PhP4.1 billion to PhP4.47 billion on the strength of higher production and shipment volumes that tempered the impact of lower copper prices.
Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Carmen Copper Corp. (CCC), sustained improvements in its operations. Copper metal production increased by 35% from 20.32 million pounds in 2018 to 27.47 million pounds in 2019. Gold production also increased by 50% from 6,537 ounces to 9,828 ounces in 2019. The increase in copper and gold production resulted from higher tonnage milled and higher realized grades. Milling tonnage increased by 9% from 3.99 million tonnes to 4.36 million tonnes. On the other hand, copper grades improved by 17% from 0.267% to 0.313%; and gold grade improved by 9% from 5.71 grams to 6.21 grams/dmt.
With sustained production, copper concentrate shipped in the first quarter increased by 26% from 39,400 tonnes to 49,500 tonnes with copper metal content increasing by 23% to 27.72 million pounds and gold content increasing by 29% to 8,819 ounces.
Metal prices in the first quarter were lower year-on-year with average realized copper price at $2.81/lb in 2019, 11% lower than $3.14/lb in 2018, and average realized gold price at $1,305/oz in 2019, 2% lower than $1,330/oz in 2018.
The improvement in operating efficiencies that increased throughput and realized higher grades resulted in lower average cost per pound by 13% from $1.77/lb in 2018 to $1.54/lb in 2019. However, due to the higher volume of shipments, cash costs were 10% higher from PhP2.72 billion to PhP2.99 billion.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) settled at PhP1.53 billion, 8% higher compared to PhP1.41 billion in the first quarter of 2018 as the gains from higher revenues offset the increase in cash costs. Accordingly, core income increased by 25% at PhP64 million even with higher financing and depletion charges in 2019. However, the bottom line was lower than last year’s net income of PhP475 million. Without the impact of provisions for mark to market gain on derivatives, foreign exchange loss and deferred tax benefits in 2018, net loss in the first quarter of 2018 would have been around PhP76 million compared to the PhP35 million this year.