Freeport-McMoRan announces plans to cut dividend and slash costs as COVID-19 spreads
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX) announced that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting global economic uncertainties, its board of directors will suspend the quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per share previously planned for May 1, 2020. The declaration and payment of future dividends is at the discretion of the board and will depend on FCX’s financial results, cash requirements, global economic conditions and other factors deemed relevant by the board.
FCX also announced it has undertaken an aggressive review of operating plans at each of its global copper and molybdenum operations to target reductions in all elements of costs and capital spending to achieve maximum cash flow under current market conditions. Revised operating plans may result in temporary reductions in copper and molybdenum production at operations in the Americas that are challenged by low commodity prices. FCX expects to complete this review promptly and will report its revised operating and financial plans with its first-quarter results in April 2020.
Richard C. Adkerson, FCX’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “The prudent steps we are taking to address costs and capital spending and preserve a strong liquidity position are necessary to maintain flexibility as we respond to current global economic uncertainties and the resulting sharp decline in copper prices in recent weeks. We are continuing to focus on the health and safety of our employees, supporting communities in our operating areas and serving customers who have indicated ongoing requirements for copper at this critical time. We are also building on momentum to establish large scale, low-cost production from our underground ore bodies at Grasberg which will position us to generate substantial cash flows beyond 2020. I want to recognize the dedication and resiliency of our entire workforce and global organization who are critical to our success. Our high-quality portfolio of long-lived assets and proven track record for navigating volatile market conditions provide confidence in our ability to maintain strength during uncertain economic times and substantial upside as market conditions improve. We remain focused on execution and opportunities to provide shareholder returns when global economic conditions improve.”
FCX is a leading international mining company with headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. FCX operates large, long-lived, geographically diverse assets with significant proven and probable reserves of copper, gold and molybdenum. FCX is one of the world's largest publicly traded copper producers.
FCX’s portfolio of assets includes the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia, one of the world's largest copper and gold deposits; and significant mining operations in North America and South America, including the large-scale Morenci minerals district in Arizona and the Cerro Verde operation in Peru. Additional information about FCX is available on FCX's website at "fcx.com."
Photo: Freeport-McMoRan's Grasberg Mine.