-- Q4 2012 net earnings attributable to shareholders of the Company were higher than Q4 2011 due to higher copper and gold average realized prices, higher sales volumes, lower copper production cash costs and the contribution of Ravensthorpe and Kevitsa.-- Reduction of the effective income tax rate for the quarter as a result of a number of non-recurring factors that include the recognition of previously unrecognized tax losses.
Significant advancement of development projects and exploration activities
-- Benefit from expansion of the oxide processing circuit at Kansanshi to 7.2 million tonnes per annum ("Mtpa") was seen in the oxide throughput during Q4 2012. The stage two expansion to 14.5 Mtpa is scheduled for completion and commencement of commissioning from mid-2013.-- Detailed design work and construction on the Kansanshi smelter is progressing well and all major equipment has been ordered. The project remains on schedule for construction completion in mid-2014 followed by commissioning and ramp up.-- Construction of the Sentinel project is on schedule. Board approval was received to increase the plant throughput from 40 Mtpa to 55 Mtpa.-- Board approval was granted for the expansion of the sulphide treatment facilities at Kansanshi by construction of a new section of plant capable of treating up to 25 Mtpa of sulphide ore. Construction of this new plant is to commence in the first half of 2013.-- A significant resource and reserve upgrade was announced at Kansanshi with initial comparative estimates showing the mineral resource tonnage has increased by approximately 121% and total contained copper increased by 74%.-- Maiden resource estimates for the Enterprise project confirmed the potential for an operation capable of producing on average 38,000 tonnes nickel per annum with scope to increase to 60,000 tonnes when nickel market conditions allow. On the strength of this resource estimate, Board approval was granted for the development of this project.
Balance sheet positioned to support growth initiatives
-- On October 10, 2012, the Company completed the offering of $350.0 million of Senior Notes due 2019. Interest will accrue at the rate of 7.25% per annum, payable semi-annually.-- On January 30, 2012, a five-year $1.0 billion senior term and revolving facility was signed for Kansanshi Mining PLC to enable the execution of planned capital projects at Kansanshi.-- On January 5, 2012, the Company reached an agreement with Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation PLC ("ENRC") to dispose of its residual RDC claims and assets for $1.25 billion. The agreement closed on March 2, 2012 with the Company receiving payment of $750.0 million and a three-year promissory note for $500.0 million.
Other corporate developments
-- On January 9, 2013, the Company announced that it has formally commenced an offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Inmet Mining Corporation ("Inmet") for total consideration of approximately C$5.1 billion. Inmet shareholders have the opportunity to elect shares in the Company, cash, or a combination thereof, subject to an overall consideration mix of approximately 50% in shares and 50% in cash. The offer is open until March 11, 2013.-- The Company has declared a final dividend of C$0.1147 per share in respect of the financial year ended December 31, 2012. The final dividend of C$0.1147, together with the interim dividend of C$0.0603, is a total of C$0.1750 for the 2012 financial year. This total dividend paid for the 2012 financial year is 15% of net earnings attributable to shareholders of the Company (adjusted for unusual items) which is in line with the 15% of net earnings attributable to shareholders of the Company used as guidance in 2011.