April 27, 2010 / 1:08 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Inmet profit boosted by copper, zinc prices

* Q1 EPS C$1.42 Vs yr-ago profit of C$1.06

* Q1 revenue up 5 percent to C$251.6 mln

TORONTO, April 27 (Reuters) - Inmet Mining Corp IMN.TO said on Tuesday its first-quarter profit rose 56 percent, helped by a strong year-over-year rise in copper and zinc prices.

The Canadian base metals miner earned C$79.9 million, or C$1.42 a share, for the quarter. That compares with a profit of C$51.3 million, or C$1.06 a share, in the year-before period.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had expected, on average, a profit of C$1.46, excluding exceptional items.

Revenue rose 5 percent to C$251.6 million, as base metals prices rebounded from their sharp declines in late 2008.

Copper production rose 6 percent to 21,200 tonnes, while zinc output rose 22 percent to 18,700 tonnes in the quarter.

Copper output last year fell short of forecasts, as the company faced delays in getting its Las Cruces mine in Spain to commercial production. Inmet has said it now expects the mine to reach commercial production in May.

Inmet’s largest asset is the Cobre Panama copper-gold project in Panama.

The company recently closed a private placement with Ellington Investments, a unit of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, which bought an 16.5 percent stake in the company for C$500 million. Inmet will use for the funds to develop the $5 billion Cobre Panama project.

Last year, Inmet agreed to give South Korea’s LS-Nikko Copper the right to acquire a 20 percent right in Cobre Panama. [ID:nN28327951] ($1=$1.002 Canadian) (Reporting by Cameron French and Euan Rocha, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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