Second-quarter 2012 consolidated molybdenum sales of 20 million pounds approximated the April 2012 estimate of 20 million pounds and second-quarter 2011 sales of 21 million pounds.
Consolidated sales from mines for the year 2012 are expected to approximate 3.6 billion pounds of copper, 1.1 million ounces of gold and 81 million pounds of molybdenum, including 885 million pounds of copper, 225 thousand ounces of gold and 20 million pounds of molybdenum in third-quarter 2012. FCX's revised 2012 estimates are lower than previous estimates reported in April by approximately 85 million pounds of copper and 60 thousand ounces of gold primarily because of mine sequencing changes and slower underground ramp-up at PT Freeport Indonesia and revisions to El Abra production.
As anticipated, consolidated average unit net cash costs (net of by-product credits) of $1.49 per pound of copper in second-quarter 2012 were higher than unit net cash costs of $0.93 per pound in second-quarter 2011 primarily because of lower volumes in Indonesia, higher mining rates in North America and lower by-product credits.
Quarterly unit net cash costs will vary with fluctuations in sales volumes and average realized prices for gold and molybdenum. Assuming average prices of $1,600 per ounce of gold and $13 per pound of molybdenum for the second half of 2012 and achievement of current sales volume and cost estimates, consolidated unit net cash costs (net of by-product credits) for FCX's copper mining operations are expected to average approximately $1.47 per pound of copper for the year 2012. Projected unit net cash costs for 2012 are slightly higher than previous estimates reported in April primarily because of lower by-product credits. The impact of price changes for the second half of 2012 on consolidated unit net cash costs would approximate $0.01 per pound for each $50 per ounce change in the average price of gold and $0.01 per pound for each $2 per pound change in the average price of molybdenum. Assuming consistent commodity price assumptions, unit net cash costs for 2013 are expected to be lower than 2012 because of projected increased copper and gold volumes at Grasberg.
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