The long-term outlook for copper is positive but in the near term, Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold will continue to focus on reducing costs and maintaining assets, according to the mining company's 2008 annual report.
The price of copper has been on an upswing. The London Metal Exchange published April 20 a price of $2.1285 - nearly $1 per pound more than the $1.26 per pound price in December 2008.
The recently released report shows Freeport has 102 billion pounds of copper in reserve - copper in the ground - throughout the world. The amount of copper in reserve in North America - including the Safford and Morenci mines - amounts to 28.3 billion pounds, the report states.
The report shows Freeport entered 2008 in a strong position - it had repaid $10 billion in debt associated with the acquisition of Phelps Dodge. For the first nine months of 2008 copper prices averaged $3.61 per pound.