RTB Bor, Serbia’s sole copper producer, said operating profit climbed 34.4 percent last year as upgrades led to bigger output.
Operating profit for 2012 climbed to 4.99 billion dinars ($58.3 million) as production of copper cathodes increased 28 percent to 32,339 tons. Silver output rose to 5.5 tons from 4.5 tons a year earlier, the Bor-based miner and smelter said in an e-mailed statement. Production of gold decreased 10.5 percent to 900 kilograms, while sulphuric acid output rose to 90,735 tons from 74,000 tons.
The state-owned company that returned to profitability in 2011 after more than two decades of losses, said it invested $152 million last year in upgrading flotation and other equipment. More than two-thirds of the spending was for a new smelter, due to be completed in 2014 that will cut production costs per ton of copper to $3,700 from $6,500.
RTB Bor plans to produce 42,230 tons of copper cathodes, 917 kilograms of gold and 5.2 tons of silver in 2013, the company said Dec. 24.