Freeport CEO Sees Banner Years Ahead After Gains Won in ‘Battle’ – by Steven Frank (Bloomberg News – December 16, 2020)

With a tumultuous decade almost behind him and the prospect of banner years ahead, the longtime boss of global miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc. has little interest in retiring just as cash looks set to roll in.

“Our Freeport family, our Freeport team, has gone to battle together,” Chief Executive Officer Richard Adkerson, 73, said Tuesday in a phone interview. “We’re within real close line of sight to having the kind of great success that we worked so long for.”

Such success will be underpinned by a production boost after a disruptive year at the company’s mines. Adkerson expects copper volumes to expand by 20% and gold by 70% next year, with rising outputs lowering costs.

With copper near seven-year highs and gold hovering about 10% below its peak, he sees profit margins swelling. At those prices, the producer says it’s on track to double earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization next year.

Adkerson, who has been at Freeport since 1989 and CEO since 2003, has helped guide the world’s biggest publicly traded copper company through what he calls a series of “twists and turns.”

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