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Nexa upbeat on copper, zinc fundamentals

One of the world’s zinc majors says it’s optimistic about the long-term scenario and market fundamentals for zinc and copper, despite slower global economic growth and uncertainties regarding commodities prices in the short term.
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Zinc producer Nexa Resources is optimistic

Staff reporter

Latin America-focused Nexa Resources (TSX: NEXA) met production guidance for 2019 but said net revenue of US$2.3 billion was 6% lower than in 2018, with higher metal sales volumes offset by lower LME prices.

"We have been attentive to the changes in the global scenario and we understand the need to adapt to this challenging new world," CEO Tito Martins said as the company released its full-year results.

"Based on that, we initiated in 2019 the Nexa Way Program, not only to improve the efficiency of our operations and maximise our returns, but also to transform our culture."

He said Nexa was the fourth-largest zinc producer in the world and was building its sixth underground mine, developing Aripuanã in Brazil, which it took full ownership of in October through the acquisition of Karmin Exploration for $71 million.

"Nexa continues to be optimistic about the long-term prospects and market fundamentals of zinc and copper and its strategy remains unchanged," Martins said.

"We are confident that we will be able to create value for all our stakeholders by maximising the returns of our operations and by delivering on growth with capital discipline."

The company produced 361,000 tonnes of zinc in concentrate, 38,000t of copper in concentrate and 51,000t of lead in concentrate in 2019 from its three mines in Peru and two in Brazil.

It expects zinc-equivalent production to increase 6.4% on average through 2020-2022, mostly driven by Aripuanã's commissioning in 2021.

It has estimated 2020 mining cash costs of 52c/lb and smelting cash costs of 90c/lb.

Mining cash costs for 2019 rose to 43c/lb compared with 28c/lb a year earlier but smelting costs fell from 2018's $1.23/lb to $1.01/lb.

The company had total cash of $757 million at December 31 and reported a net loss of $159 million or $1.11 per share for the year.

Nexa also announced a cash dividend of about 0.377c per share, representing an aggregate $50 million.

Its shares have ranged from C$9.40-$17.05 over the past year and closed 5.2% higher on Friday at $11.73, to capitalise it at $1.55 billion (US$1.2 billion).