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TORONTO - HudBay Minerals Inc. (TSX:HBM) said lower sales volume and metals prices resulted in a 44 per cent drop in profits in its first quarter.
The miner had a profit of $1.9 million, or a penny per diluted share for the three-month period ended March 31, down from $3.4 million or three cents per diluted share a year earlier.
Revenue was $119.8 million, dropping from $187 million, due to lower sales connected to the closures of the Trout Lake and Chisel North mines.
Ore production at these two mines decreased by 16 per cent, compared with the same quarter in the previous year. The closures in June and September 2012 resulted in a six per cent drop in overall mine operating costs per tonne for the company.
HudBay said it has invested $338 million of its $794 million in capital expenditures for its Lalor project. It has also committed an additional $84 million.
The project near Snow Lake, Man., is home to significant gold, zinc and copper deposits and has been put on a fast track to production by HudBay.
The miner expects shaft construction at the mine to continue into 2013.
Lalor's ore will initially be processed at the nearby Snow Lake concentrator until completion of the production shaft and new concentrator, which is expected in late 2014.
Shares in HudBay, which reported its financial results after the close of markets, closed down 26 cents to $7.74 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.