South America

FCX’s South America mining operations include open-pit mining, sulfide ore concentrating, leaching and solution extraction/electrowinning. Production from these mines is sold as concentrate or cathode under long-term contracts. Our South America mines also ship a portion of their copper concentrate to Atlantic Copper, our wholly owned smelting and refining unit in Spain.

FCX operates two copper mines in South America — Cerro Verde in Peru and El Abra in Chile. In addition to copper, the Cerro Verde mine also produces molybdenum concentrates and silver. Construction activities associated with the large-scale expansion at Cerro Verde were completed in September 2015 and the mine is operating at full rates. The project expanded the concentrator facilities from 120,000 metric tons of ore per day to 360,000 metric tons of ore per day and provides incremental annual production of approximately 600 million pounds of copper and 15 million pounds of molybdenum. FCX continues to evaluate a potential large-scale milling operation at El Abra to process additional sulfide material and to achieve higher recoveries. Exploration results in recent years at El Abra indicate a significant sulfide resource, which could potentially support a major mill project. Future investments will be dependent on technical studies, economic factors and market conditions.