When booming worldwide base metal prices lead, record profits for Greater Sudbury?s major mining players follow.
Inco Ltd. increased their first quarter profits by seven times over the first three months of 2003, the company announced Tuesday.
The nickel giant earned $225 million (US) for the period ending March 31, or $1.35 per share.
The company enjoyed a 15 per cent increase in nickel production over a year ago.
Analysts say the booming Chinese economy and construction sector (the country is building four cities the size of Ottawa) will continue to drive up
base metal prices for the rest of 2004 and possibly into 2007.
Inco produced 127 million pounds of nickel in the first quarter, and expects to produce over 500 million pounds in 2004.
?We are on track to hit our highest annual nickel production levels in nearly 30 years,? Inco chair and CEO Scott Hand said in a release.
Inco has about 3,300 employees and 10,000 pensioners in Sudbury.
Their announcement comes on the heels of Falconbridge Ltd. reporting a 100 per cent jump in profits for the first quarter over 2003.
That company, which employs more than 1,000 people at its Sudbury operations, set a record with a $184 million US profit in the first three months of
Compared to the first quarter of 2003, nickel prices are 80 per cent higher and copper sells for about 55 per cent more.