[ferro-alloys.com] Chile's Molymet, the world's largest processor of molybdenum, sold 36.2 million lb of molybdenum products during the first quarter, down 15.5% year on year, the company said.
Volume at the company's processing plants in Chile, China and Mexico have been hit in recent months by the closure of primary molybdenum mines around the world following the decline in the price of the metal in recent years.
Santiago-listed Molymet said it had compensated for the drop in volumes by concentrating on higher value-added products which offer greater margins.
Sales revenue during the quarter rose 36% to $199 million, boosted largely by the increase in molybdenum prices, which averaged $7.83/lb, up 47% from a year ago.
As a result, profit in the period rose 34% to $26.6 million.
"Despite the recovery in growth globally and the improvement in commodity prices, the world continues to present high levels of uncertainty, instability and volatility," the company said.
The company can process up to 207 million lb/year of molybdenum, equivalent to 35% of global capacity, but is in the process of expanding capacity at its Sadaci plant in Belgium to 37 million lb/year, from 33 million lb/year currently.
Last month, the company approved plans to invest a further $44 million in a new chemicals plant at the Belgian site, allowing it produce more value-added products and granting greater flexibility in the processing molybdenum concentrates. Commissioning was expected to take place in early 2019.
--Tom Azzopardi, email@example.com
--Edited by Dan Lalor, firstname.lastname@example.org
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