LIMA Oct 24 (Reuters) - Southern Copper's third-quarter net profit slumped 67 percent to $217.9 million from the same period a year earlier on softer global prices for the red metal and a $316.2 million charge for legal fees, the company said on Wednesday.
Revenue fell 11 percent to $1.55 billion in the latest quarter, even as copper output rose 3 percent to 160,379 tonnes.
The company's bottom line declined as it ramped up capital expenditures 68 percent to $258 million to expand mining and processing capacity, especially at its Buenavista mine, formerly known as Cananea.
"Regarding the copper production, we have 640,000 tonnes for this year. For next year we have a forecast that is under review, of about 670,000 tonnes," Chief Financial Officer Raul Jacob said on a results call. "Depending on how we proceed with our projects we will escalate to over a million tonnes in the next four years."
Overall copper output last year was 650,000 tonnes.
The miner said the legal fees in the third quarter were related to a lawsuit stemming from its 2005 merger with Minera Mexico.
Southern Copper also reiterated that it is working to finish a new draft of the environmental impact study for its $1 billion Tia Maria mine project.
Peru's government asked the company to overhaul its environmental mitigation plan last year after community protesters urged the company to use water from the Pacific Ocean for its mine, instead of freshwater. Southern Copper has said it expects Tia Maria to boost its production by 120,000 tonnes a year.
Southern Copper is a majority-owned, indirect subsidiary of Grupo Mexico S.A.B de CV. Its shares were up 39 cents, a little over 1 percent, at $36.91 on the New York Stock Exchange.