Jul 31, 2012 (Dow Jones) LIMA, Peru -- Southern Copper Corp. (SCCO, SCCO.VL) said Tuesday that it has made minor changes to its production forecasts over the next few years, seeing lower copper output than previously expected.
Southern Copper's head of investor relations, Raul Jacob, said the changes are partially due to delays at a project at its Buenavista mine in Mexico.
The biggest change to Southern Copper's annual production forecasts during the next four years is in 2014. Mr. Jacob said the company now plans to produce 712,000 tons of copper in 2014, down from a previous estimate of 770,000 tons.
Mr. Jacob said the company aims to produce 654,000 tons of copper in 2013, which is in line with a previous forecast. Mr. Jacob said that Southern Copper expects to produce 996,000 tons of copper in 2015 and 1.1 million tons in 2016, which are also similar to previous projections.
The company is maintaining its 2012 production guidance of 640,000 tons of copper, but with a smaller participation of third-party copper, Mr. Jacob said.
Southern Copper had previously said that it would produce 610,000 tons of copper from its direction operations and 30,000 tons from third parties. Mr. Jacob said that third-party copper is now expected to total about 21,300 tons this year.
Southern Copper produced 313,500 tons of copper in the first six months of this year, up 16% from the same period last year.
In the second quarter, the company saw its net earnings decline 14% to $564 million, mainly on lower copper prices.
Southern Copper, one of the world's biggest producers of the metal, operates mines, smelting and refining facilities in Mexico and Peru. Grupo Mexico (GMEXICO.MX) has a controlling stake in Southern Copper.