The 15 Lowest Cost Producers Of Precious & Industrial Metals In 3 Charts
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This past week, copper prices fell to levels not seen since 2009, on speculation that cheaper energy costs will encourage mining companies to increase production. In addition to concerns about increased production, there are fears about China’s potential impact on the copper market.
Much of China’s copper stock is used as collateral in trade, and rising concerns about how corporate bond defaults are upsetting the market.
Given the increased likelihood of lower copper prices in the near-term, let’s check to see which companies are the lowest-cost producers of copper, and who's best-positioned to succeed in an environment of lower copper prices.
Let's start by plotting Actual Production of Copper in Tons on the x-axis, and Cash Cost (in $ per lb.) on the y-axis.
The five lowest cost producers are highlighted in green.
The lowest cost copper producers are:
1) Southern Copper Corp (NYSE: SCCO) $1.00
2) First Quantum Minerals Limited (TSE:FM) $1.30
3) Imperial Metals Corporation (TSE:III) $1.31
4) Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE: FCX) $1.49
5) China Gold Intl Res Corp Ltd (TSE:CGG) $1.65
Precious metals had a rough 2014 before bouncing back a bit this month.
Let’s next look at silver; silver prices peaked around mid-2014 and declined until the end of the year.
Again, let's plot Actual Production on the x-axis and Cash Cost on the y-axis.
The five lowest-cost producers are highlighted in green.
The lowest cost silver producers are:
1) Silvercorp Metals Inc. (USA) (NYSE: SVM) $2.16
2) Silver Wheaton Corp. (USA) (NYSE: SLW) $4.12
3) Mandalay Resources Corp. (TSE:MND) $6.84
4) Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. (TSE:FVI) $7.03
5) Endeavour Silver Corp (TSE:EDR) $7.92
Finally, let’s look at gold. Gold peaked early in 2014, then declined for about eight months before bottoming out in November.
Again, let's plot Actual Production on the x-axis and Cash Cost on the y-axis. The five lowest cost producers are highlighted in green.
The lowest cost gold producers are:
1) Dundee Precious Metals Inc (TSE:DPM) $329
2) New Gold Inc. (USA) (NYSE: NGD)$377
3) Silver Wheaton Corp. (USA) (NYSE: SLW) $386
4) Sandstorm Gold Ltd. (TSE:SSL) $420
5) OceanaGold Corporation (TSE:OGC) $426
Image credit: Giorgio Montiferro, Flickr
Tom White can be found on Twitter @tbwhite67
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