FCX is also engaged in pre-feasibility studies for a potential large-scale milling operation at El Abra to process additional sulfide material and to achieve higher recoveries. Exploration results at El Abra indicate the potential for a significant sulfide resource.
Operating Data. Following is summary consolidated operating data for the South America mining operations for the third quarters and first nine months of 2012 and 2011:
|Three Months Ended||Nine Months Ended|
|September 30,||September 30,|
|Copper (millions of recoverable pounds)|
|Average realized price per pound||$||3.68||$||3.45||$||3.63||$||3.82|
|Gold (thousands of recoverable ounces)|
|Average realized price per ounce||$||1,736||$||1,664||$||1,678||$||1,556|
|Molybdenum (millions of recoverable pounds)|
|Unit net cash costs per pound of copper:|
|Site production and delivery, excluding adjustments||$||1.63||$||1.38||$||1.58||$||1.31|
|Unit net cash costs b||$||1.55||$||1.15||$||1.48||$||1.12|
a. Reflects molybdenum production from Cerro Verde. Sales of molybdenum are reflected in the Molybdenum division (refer to page 9).
b. For a reconciliation of unit net cash costs per pound to production and delivery costs applicable to sales reported in FCX's consolidated financial statements, refer to the supplemental schedule, "Product Revenues and Production Costs," beginning on page VII, which is available on FCX's website, " www.fcx.com ."Copper sales from South America mining of 308 million pounds in third-quarter 2012 were lower than third-quarter 2011 sales of 322 million pounds, primarily reflecting lower ore grades at Candelaria and timing of shipments.