FCX expects Africa's sales to approximate 330 million pounds of copper and 25 million pounds of cobalt for the year 2012, compared with 283 million pounds of copper and 25 million pounds of cobalt for the year 2011.
Africa's unit net cash costs (net of cobalt credits) of $1.23 per pound of copper in third-quarter 2012 were higher than unit net cash costs of $1.12 per pound in third-quarter 2011, primarily reflecting higher mining and input costs, including sulphuric acid and energy.
FCX estimates Africa's average unit net cash costs would approximate $1.25 per pound of copper for the year 2012, based on current sales volume and cost estimates and assuming an average cobalt price of $12 per pound for fourth-quarter 2012. Africa's unit net cash costs for 2012 would change by approximately $0.025 per pound for each $2 per pound change in the average price of cobalt for fourth-quarter 2012.
Molybdenum. FCX is the world's largest producer of molybdenum. FCX conducts molybdenum mining operations at its wholly owned Henderson underground mine and Climax open-pit mine in Colorado, and also sells molybdenum produced from its North and South America copper mines.Operating and Development Activities. The newly commissioned Climax molybdenum mine, which includes a new 25,000 metric ton per day mill facility, began commercial production in May 2012. Depending on market conditions, production from Climax may ramp up to a rate of 20 million pounds of molybdenum per year during 2013, with potential to produce 30 million pounds of molybdenum per year. FCX intends to operate the Climax and Henderson mines in a flexible manner to meet market requirements. FCX believes that Climax is one of the most attractive primary molybdenum mines in the world, with large-scale production capacity, attractive cash costs and future growth options. Operating Data. Following is summary consolidated operating data for the Molybdenum operations for the third quarters and first nine months of 2012 and 2011:
|Three Months Ended||Nine Months Ended|
|September 30,||September 30,|
|Molybdenum (millions of recoverable pounds)|
|Sales, excluding purchases b||21||19||62||60|
|Average realized price per pound||$||13.62||$||16.34||$||14.79||$||17.57|
Henderson's unit net cash cost per pound of molybdenum c