RTB Bor 2012 Operating Profit Rose 34.4% on Bigger Output

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.