Kazakhstan-based miner Kaz Minerals sounded a cautious note this morning after being stung by copper prices in the first half of the year.
Pre-tax profit at the company dropped nearly 19 per cent to $289m, hurt especially by a 11 per cent drop in the price of copper, it’s main product.
A six per cent increase in production to 147,600 tonnes year-on-year, was not enough to offset the fall, the company revealed.
Meanwhile the acquisition of a Russian copper mine helped push net debt up to $2.6bn, from just under $2bn at the end of December.
The company projected it would increase spending to $150m on the Russian project, Baimskaya in the Chukotka region.
It is also continuing a $1.2bn expansion of its main Aktogay mine.
“The group’s near and long term growth projects at Aktogay and Baimskaya are both on track, with the primary crusher, sulphide concentrator and mining fleet upgrade progressing well at Aktogay and pioneer works at Baimskaya approved to commence in the second half of 2019,” said chief executive Andrew Southam.
The company predicted that the short-term outlook for copper was poor. But in the medium term, it expects a more positive outlook. Demand is set to remain strong, as copper becomes a key part in the green transition, Southam said.
Shares fell more than 10 per cent today on the news amid a larger trend in the mining industry. FTSE 350 mining stocks were down 1.6 per cent on average.