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Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX) Q2 2020 Earnings Call Transcript

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Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE: FCX)
Q2 2020 Earnings Call
Jul 23, 2020, 10:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Freeport-McMoRan Second Quarter Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to turn the conference over to Ms. Kathleen Quirk, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Please go ahead ma'am.

Kathleen L. Quirk -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you and good morning, everyone. Welcome to our conference call. Earlier this morning, we reported our second quarter 2020 operating and financial results and a copy of the press release and slides are available on our website at fcx.com. Our conference call today is being broadcast live on the Internet and anyone may listen to the call by accessing our website homepage and clicking on the webcast link for the conference call.

In addition to analysts and investors, the financial press has been invited to listen to today's call and a replay of the webcast will be available on our website later today. Before we begin our comments, we'd like to remind everyone that today's press release and certain of our comments on the call include forward-looking statements and actual results may differ materially. I'd like to refer everyone to the cautionary language included in our press release and presentation materials and to the risk factors described in our 2019 Form 10-K and our quarterly report on Form 10-Q each filed with the SEC as updated by FCX's subsequent filings with the SEC.

On the call today is Richard Adkerson, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Red Conger is on the call as well as Mark Johnson, Steve Higgins, Rick Coleman and Mike Kendrick.

I'll start by briefly summarizing the financial results and then turn the call over to Richard, who will be going through the presentation materials. As usual, after our prepared remarks, we'll open the call up for questions.

Today, FCX reported net income attributable to common stock of $53 million or $0.03 per share in the second quarter of 2020. The results included net credits of $9 million or roughly $0.01 per share primarily associated with favorable metals inventory adjustments and an income tax credit and those were mostly offset by COVID-19 related costs and employee separation programs. Adjusted net income after these special items totaled $44 million or $0.03 per share in the second quarter.

Our adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation for the second quarter totaled $754 million, that was above our July 6 estimate of approximately $650 million primarily reflecting slightly higher sales volumes in the quarter and lower costs than our prior estimates. A reconciliation of our EBITDA is available on Slide 38 of our slide deck. Copper sales during the second quarter were 759 million pounds that was about 10% higher than our April 2020 estimate and that reflected better than anticipated production rates in Indonesia and North America and the timing of shipments from Cerro Verde.

Our second quarter gold sales of 184,000 ounces were 12% higher than our April 2020 estimate, reflecting the strong performance in Indonesia. The average realized copper price during the quarter for copper was $2.55 per pound, that was below the year-ago quarterly average of $2.75 per pound and gold realized prices averaged $1,749 per ounce during the second quarter above last year's second quarter of $1,351 per ounce. Consolidated average unit net cash costs averaged $1.47 per pound in the second quarter of 2020 that was lower than the year ago quarter and also lower than our April 2020 estimate of $1.63 per pound reflecting the higher copper and gold sales volumes and strong execution of our cost reduction initiatives. We generated strong cash flows during the quarter totaling $491 million in cash flows from operations and funded capital expenditures totaling $527 million during the period. We ended the quarter with consolidated debt totaling $9.9 billion and consolidated cash totaled $1.5 billion, with strong liquidity and no borrowings under our $3.5 billion revolving credit facility.

Now I'd like to turn the call over to Richard, who'll be referring to our slide presentation materials. Richard, please go ahead.

Richard C. Adkerson -- Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Okay. Thank you, Kathleen, and good morning to each of you and we appreciate your participating in our call today. Hope you and your families are staying well and safe. This has been a very trying time over the past four months. Work has been intense, life is challenging. I'm pleased that our team has shown the discipline [Technical Issues] faced a lot of problems. But I want to say that this quarterly report as we previewed earlier is really a good news for our Freeport team and the great work we've been doing. We'll refer to the slides and going to Slide 3, [Technical Issues] continuing to prioritize the health and safety of our workers and we're also working hard to support the communities serve our customers with their ongoing requirements for copper.

In late April, we laid out a comprehensive plan [Technical Issues] at that time to manage the COVID-19 health and economic issues [Technical Issues] safe and how we were going to safeguard our business, protect the value of our assets for what we are convinced will be a very positive long-term future. Since that time, over the past three months, I've been extremely proud of our Freeport team for the way they responded in a very short period, making tough decisions during the height of this unprecedented crisis and, more importantly, how our team is executing on these plans safely with the spirit of commitment and cooperation. We have had a real sense of urgency in implementing these plans. We moved very quickly to reduce cost and capital spending and you can see this in our second quarter results in our annual guidance that we're providing today.

Our management of worker healthcare to date has been affected, pleased that in addition to manage these health issues, our team has also achieved strong safety performance during the quarter. And that's particularly gratifying because of our concerns as people might be distracted but that's not been the case. We have been able to produce safely our products using strict operating protocols, distancing, enhancing protective equipment for our workers, sanitation, and particularly significant investments in testing and tracing isolated infected people and treating those that are sick. We've actually had only a handful of people to be seriously sick and the vast majority of the people that have encountered the disease today have recovered, many have not had no symptoms, but that's not deterred us from going forward with this program to protect their safety.

Our workforce is adhering to global health standards we are making sure everyone focuses on their own personal safety and the well-being of people around them. We are continuing and enhancing and responding to these protocols as we go forward. Our global team of workers is, of course, critical to our Company's success and we recognize that and I personally appreciate the dedication, commitment and their cooperation during this challenging time. Other than government imposed restrictions in Cerro Verde, there have only been very limited impacts from the pandemic at our operating sites. But knowing just how fast this virus can spread, we remain diligent and steadfast in protecting people. As I said in April, we laid out our plans to address our business and boost liquidity in what was then a very weak and volatile market environment.

As a reminder, we laid out a plan to reduce cost and capital spending in 2020 by over $2 billion, the reduction of about 15% of our planned copper production totaling about 100 million pounds and aggressive management of all cost, including G&A and exploration. Our execution of these plan has been very effective. You see that in our second quarter results, which are better than the revised forecast. Our sales volume exceeded our April guidance by 10% for copper, 12% for gold all achieved very safely in the face of this global crisis. Our team maintained focus, drive and came together to meet the challenges as we've done [Technical Issues] in the past at Freeport. Copper prices have improved dramatically during the quarter. Our plan was based [Technical Issues] copper price, and we had contingencies for much lower prices. Even though prices are higher, we are staying the course, remaining disciplined in executing our cost containment plans. We are convinced this is prudent in light of the uncertainties and dynamic nature of the ongoing pandemic. We're not letting down our guard at all or taking any victory laps. We are more focused than ever as an organization to drive long-term values that we see in our assets.

In a few seconds, I'll be reporting more in detail on the progress our team has made at Grasberg. The team there continues to shine in its operations and it's really key to our long-term strategy. We are on schedule in ramping up to deliver large, low cost sustainable production volume of copper and gold for years to come. The team has consistently been meeting or beating forecast. That's been our situation for several quarters now, and I'm pleased to report that we're on track with our ramp up plan and I also want to especially acknowledge the Cerro Verde team for their exceptional work during this quarter to restore operations at our site near Arequipa in Peru. We've worked very closely with the Peruvian government, and we developed a safe plan for a return to operations at Cerro Verde; by June, we were operating at 80% of our 2019 rates. We are continuing to increase productivity with protocols that protect workers in the community surrounding Arequipa.

The Lone Star project in Eastern Arizona advanced during the quarter on schedule and that is now being commissioned. We also continue to build flexibility in our balance sheet through extending maturities at attractive rates. We're working with our bank group to provide enhanced downside protection and maintain liquidity through our bank credit facility. All of this has effectively safeguarded our business, allowed us to navigate this period of uncertainty and retain the massive upside we see in our asset that is now increasingly close to being in front of us. Our Company benefits from a major way from having an extraordinary long life and durable reserve base and resource base, premier position in copper, which has a compelling long-term outlook and significant exposure to gold markets. I'm confident that continued strong execution will make these assets even more valuable to our shareholders in the future.

Now turning to Slide 4, we talk about our commitment to our communities. This has been long-standing and unwavering. Communities are home for our workers and their families. They are essential to our long-term success. Across the gold, we've supported communities during this time with much needed medical supplies, food, monetary support, in many respects dealing with COVID is bringing us closer to the communities where we operate to fight a common foe. Our people are stepping up to help communities to meet this growing need. And as a Company, we're continuing to find ways to make a difference.

On Slide 5, we talk about our commitment to all stakeholders. Our focus is on our shareholders, of course, but equally on our workers, communities and the environment and this has been embedded in Freeport's culture for many years. We cannot be successful in generating long-term value for shareholders unless we address sustainability issues appropriately and effectively. We learnt that many years ago. While this commitment has been highlighted through our actions in response to the COVID pandemic, in our recent published annual report on sustainability, which you can find on our website, summarizes all of our programs in this important area. I'm pleased to note, we have recently published our first Climate Report, which details our efforts to date and our plans to address climate related risks and opportunities to go forward and, of course, copper is going to play a key role broadly in dealing with carbon reduction as the world focuses more on climate issues.

As I mentioned, and as shown on Slide 6, copper prices have recovered sharply from the lows in March. We are now back to the point where they were earlier in the year at the height of the crisis. Speaking candidly, this recovery came sooner and stronger than we and others anticipated, similarly to what we saw in 2009/2010. China's economy is recovering strongly and steadily from the first quarter low, being led by its industrial sector, infrastructure spending and the government's actions to stimulate the Chinese economy. Around the world, ongoing monetary and physical stimulus is helping offset the negative economic downturn from COVID. We're beginning to see a restart in the global economies. We're also seeing some positive signs as businesses reopen in the Western world, particularly with automobile production beginning to improve. Supplies of copper during this COVID pandemic have been affected, both mine supply and scrap availability are lower; notably, inventories have remained low and have actually moved even lower in recent months. Now this is very notable because it's not typical of past commodity downturns. Typically in downturns, inventories rise and then have to be worked over -- worked off when recovery occurs. Currently, low inventories are a good omen for copper as it positions the metal for material gains as economic activity rebounds. Now having said this, we at Freeport are cognizant of the risk of current uncertainties. We will continue to operate our business prudently until there is clarity. As economies around the world recover and improve, copper will be a major benefit and prices are still well below what is needed to incentivize investments in new projects, which result in a tight market as we go forward.

Slide 7, we show how to become clearly and more widely acknowledge that copper's importance in the global economy will be key to achieving decarbonization initiatives that will require greater intensity for the use of copper. Copper is strongly supported by fundamentals as an essential metal in the overall global economy and as the economy recovers and the world grows, more copper will be needed, but momentum is growing in efforts to reduce carbon around the world. I'm personally convinced this is going to be a mandate for all companies and governments, mandate of our people as we go forward. From electric vehicles and charging stations to 5G and other technical applications, all of this is driven by electronics and electronics require copper. Copper is essentially not only in times when the economy is growing, but also times like these when healthcare, water and food supply, communication and technology are critically important.

Telecommunications, digital technologies, cloud applications have never been more important than in today's world. The current pandemic is bringing to light what copper can achieve in improving global health. Studies have demonstrated that copper can destroy viruses like COVID-19, use in healthcare equipment, facilities, public places will undoubtedly grow significantly. Our company Freeport is foremost in copper, copper is widely considered the best positioned major commodity from a supply/demand standpoint and Freeport will be a major beneficiary of these trends.

Now beginning on Slide 8, I'll give you a brief update on our operations and projects. At Cerro Verde, its production was impacted during the quarter by the government order, which restricted operating rates for Cerro Verde and other mines in Peru. Our Cerro Verde team is doing terrific work in working with the government and our workforce in implementing protocols to demonstrate to the government and our workers that we can operate safely. During the quarter, we managed to increase rates from about a third of capacity to about 80% of 2019 levels. Our current plans assume we operate at about 350,000 tons per day through the mill for the balance of the year. We will continuously monitor conditions in the region and work to increase rates over time. We have demonstrated in the past that the modern concentrator complex at Cerro Verde is the largest in the world copper industry and can produce at rates over 400,000 metric tons per day. Cerro Verde has been a large contributor [Technical Issues] of the largest employees in the region, has a bright long-term future. Cerro Verde is simply a great long-term asset for Freeport.

Now for the good stuff. At Grasberg, I'm very pleased to report of the positive progress on our underground ramp up. For several quarters now, our team has consistently been meeting or beating expectation and this quarter's progress is particularly noteworthy in light of doing this with having to manage the impact of the pandemic. Combined production from our two major mines, the Grasberg Block Cave and the Deep MLZ mine averaged nearly 55,000 tons of ore per day. This is ahead of our forecast and almost 50% above the first quarter of this year. By the end of the quarter, we were producing 70,000 tons of ore per day containing high grades of copper and gold and we expect to exit 2020 at 95,000 tons per day. We added 46 new drawbells during the quarter. These are the rock funnels that are used to collect ore simultaneously, which adds scale. We now have 260 drawbell locations and growing these infrastructure is in place. What we're doing now is basic Block Cave mining, advancing the cave front, building drawbells and commencing production.

On Slide 9, we show a new chart this quarter to illustrate the pace of our underground production ramp-up. The annualized run rate in the second quarter, this is really notable, is now at about 50 -- close to 50% of the ultimate goal of producing an average of 1.55 billion pounds of copper and 1.6 million ounces of gold from the underground ore bodies. This is triple what we achieved a year ago. As indicated in the graph, we expect to average about 70% of the annual targeted run rate by the fourth quarter of this year and by the end of 2021, 90% of the targeted run rates. We expect to continue to add new drawbells to allow us to increase production, basically we will now continue to do what we now have been doing over the last several quarters. [Technical Issues] this all down, it is straightforward that all of this is achievable because of the more than 15 years we've been investing in this program, making the decision to continue with this investment during our negotiations with the Indonesian government of our contract. The investments we made in development and infrastructure, the technical expertise of our team and managing Block Cave and the social license we have earned in Grasberg position us, over the many years we've been there, we are now positioned for achieving the success that we've been pointing to for such a long period of time. But we know better than anybody in the world, the risk inherent in Block Cave mining and they are issues that we will face. [Technical Issues] demonstrates the validity in our confidence we've gone a long way in derisking the long-term plan. We recently achieved a major milestone, which was expected, the Grasberg Block Cave has now intersected the massive Grasberg open pit. This is a milestone. It was also a situation that we had to be prepared to manage because it involved certain unknowns. I am gratified to say that, Mark Johnson and his team are dealing with this and we don't foresee this as being problem and now the massive Grasberg open pit will literally crumble into the Block Cave mine we're developing.

The value creation from this transformation is truly massive, notably, the gold benefit at Grasberg production has been and will be a major benefit with combined rates -- combined with rates of high grades of copper. At full production, Grasberg mine is the largest gold mine, even though the gold is a byproduct of the copper operations. The high grades of copper combined with this gold component make Grasberg one of the mining industry's truly most valuable, fabulous asset in its history. As gold prices approximate $1,800 an ounce, revenues from gold are projected to completely offset the total cost of production at Grasberg, EBITDA from this operation would average $4.5 billion to $5 billion a year at copper and gold prices. I really want to say and emphasize that our partnership with the Government of Indonesia remains strong and I would say grows stronger every day.

We are now fully aligned in our mutual objectives of creating values for all stakeholders and what a great much improved situation it is for all of us to be focused on developing and operating this asset and not to be sidetracked by dealing with contract issues as we were for so long, can't say enough about how pleased I am with the agreement we reached in December 2018 and how it's being operating. I want to say as indicated in our April report, we continue to experience delays with the development of the proposed new smelter in the Gresik area of Eastern Java. We are continuing to do front-end planning and site work to a certain degree but COVID is a real serious problem in the Gresik area, and it is delaying progress with this project with workers and the contractors. We are continuing our discussions with the government regarding our request for a year's delay in completing the project. We are also engaged in discussing with partners and representatives of the government alternative scenarios that would be mutually beneficial to the government and the PT-FI. These matters are currently under consideration and we will keep you informed of what happens with this. You know, there's nothing easy about this project we're doing, it takes a world-class team in terms of competency with years of experience, and a strong track record of success. This is a unique asset in an unique physical setting, we are meeting this challenge. We met the challenge of dealing with the unexpected seismic events at the Deep MLZ mine with our hydraulic fracking solution that is now working and is proving to be very effective. We are confident about our team's ability to meet these challenges and confident going forward that the biggest risks we face are behind us.

Slide 9 shows -- illustrates what I've been talking about in terms of the progress that we're making -- toward getting to our long-term goal, which we will certainly reach by the end of just next year 18 months from now. Many of you recall how we were talking about dealing with this 15 years ago and now we are 18 months away. As I said, in terms of targeted production, we're about 50% way there in terms of throughput from our two major mines. We are a third of the way there and moving forward.

Slide 10 covers the smelter which I've talked about. Slide 11, we talk about our Lone Star mine in Eastern Arizona. This is the mine, as most of you know, that's directly adjacent to the Safford mine where we're using available production facilities as the Safford mine ages and has availability for capacity. It's just across the Mountain Ridge from Morenci in an area of the world that we are very well familiar with and very well accepted. Our progress at Lone Star was excellent in the quarter. Commissioning work has begun. We are ramping up placement of ore on a newly constructed leach pad; at Safford, the pre-stripping we undertook to explore the ore is substantially behind us now and we're setting up for the production phase at the beginning of this quarter, in third quarter.

Project capital of $825 million is largely behind us, expect it to be a bit lower than the original budget. Initial project forecasted at 200 million pounds of copper annually. We are evaluating exciting opportunities to increase production over time with low capital. This is a tremendous resource with great expansion opportunities. But for now, we're focused on optimizing the initial project, we'll turn to major expansions of Lone Star when market conditions warrant. Over the long term, this asset will be a significant future cornerstone asset for Freeport in the United States in our outlook.

I want to point out the United States has major advantages for mining investment compared with other countries around the world in general. For our Company, there are no taxes for our US investments for many, many years to come. We pay no royalties because we own lands and fleet, energy costs are lower. We have a flexible workforce with no unions. We now have an improved regulatory framework. Freeport has achieved through hard work community and government support for our businesses and in the United States benefits from a strong rule of law.

Slide 12, we summarize the work we've been talking about over the past year that our Company has been doing with automation. We continue to leverage the technology tools we've developed to unlock bottlenecks, use machine learning drive to have our best operating performance every hour of every day. We have reduced the budget for this initiative, the spending budget for this initiative to progress, the work we started in 2018 and 2019 using internal resources. We continue to be encouraged by the power of these two and the results we've generated to date and I can say the enthusiasm for our team for this initiative is very high.

Now pulling this altogether, on Slide 13, you will see that we are on a path to double our EBITDA from 2020 levels as we go forward. Execution of these plans are now well under way and will allow us to grow copper volumes by over 20% in 2021, gold volumes by 75%, reduce our net unit cost by over 20% and significantly expand our margins and cash flows. [Technical Issues] copper for 2020, this takes into account the first year actual average and $2.85 copper for the balance of the year. EBITDA would approximate $3.4 billion, this expands to $6 billion to $7 billion per year at $2.75 to $3.00 copper. Our gold revenues are expected to approximate $2.7 billion per year at $1,800 [Technical Issues]. So you can see the very positive exposure we have to gold prices.

Through our decisive actions announced in April for 2020, we have protected the down-side while we've retained growth in cash flows for 2021 and beyond. That was the objective of the whole exercise. This combination of growing volumes has the potential to coincide with the right copper prices, to [Technical Issues] and then return to the day when we can provide significant cash return [Technical Issues]. We at Freeport have all worked so hard to position our Company for this opportunity. And it's particularly gratifying now to see this firmly within our line of sight.

Slide 14, I am so proud of our organization and what we refer to internally as a Freeport Edge. Our management [Technical Issues] tough market environments. [Technical Issues] Company are seasoned and battle hardened, they have been effective and successful in past downturns. Each crisis is different, but in each of our past experiences, Freeport as a company has come out stronger. We have a management structure and a team that is collaborative, experienced and decisive in issues involving worker safety, environmental obligations [Technical Issues] and commitments to governments. [Technical Issues] licensed to operate around the world that we have worked so hard to earn. We've shown that we can adjust to market conditions quickly. We've done this on multiple occasions and we've got contingency plans for further actions [Technical Issues]. Value orientation is a real hallmark of this Freeport organization [Technical Issues] industry and copper is a great place to be. Freeport's portfolio of assets are large [Technical Issues] and high quality industry leader by developing and operating mines that are among the largest in the world. Our assets are long-lived and durable with embedded options for reserve and resource growth.

We have strong franchises in the USA, South America and Indonesia. We have industry-leading technical capabilities through a strong track record of project execution demonstrated over many years. We've earned the trust in respect of our partners, our customers, our suppliers, financial markets, most importantly, our workers communities and host companies where we operate. Really important that our block caving experience in our Company is one of the most extensive and long-standing in the history of the global mining industry. We've been successfully operating Block Cave mines in Indonesia since the early 1980s and we have an [Technical Issues] in Colorado. [Technical Issues] This experience [Technical Issues] and capabilities and competency is critically important with the largest block caving operation in the world and I can tell you it's highly valued by our Indonesian partners.

Our experience in battle tested management has demonstrated the capabilities in that [Technical Issues]. We are confident in our ability to deliver these [Technical Issues]. Before turning the presentation back to Kathleen, I want to close by sincerely thanking all of our Freeport people, they inspire me every day. I want to recognize them for their strength and resiliency, their dedication and performance. I'm personally proud to be part of this team over all these years. I can tell you we're all motivated and committed to persevering and achieving success for all of our stakeholders.

Kathleen.

Kathleen L. Quirk -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Rick. [Technical Issues] briefly review our financial outlook beginning on Slide 17 and then we'll take your questions. Summarizing our sales outlook for 2020 through 2022, the team is performing at a high level. We've increased our 2020 sales outlook by about 60 million pounds of copper and 50,000 ounces of gold [Technical Issues] performance [Technical Issues] volumes estimates are expected to grow [Technical Issues] in 2021 and 30% in 2022 compared to 2020 levels. Notably, volumes in 2022 are expected to increase by nearly 1 billion pounds of copper from 2020 levels. This reflects the projected addition of volumes from Grasberg as we move toward design capacity and the increased Cerro Verde volumes as we continue to restore full production levels.

Our gold volumes, as I said, in 2020 are slightly above our prior estimates and are similar to the guidance that we provided for 2021 and 2022. For moly, we've adjusted the sales outlook slightly to better match our supply with current market conditions. We show on the next slide, Slide 18, our volumes by quarter. And as you'll see, we're expecting a strong second half with sales increasing throughout the year and you will note by the fourth quarter, we're very close to our 2021 run rate for annual volumes. Our teams remain very focused on executing the plan safely and finishing the year strong.

Turning to costs on the next slide, Slide 19, you can see we moved very quickly in March and April to adjust our cost structure. We modified our mine plans to reduce mining rates and to reduce higher cost production and we've successfully implemented a series of cost-savings initiatives to drive long-term benefits. As Richard mentioned in addition to the operating cost reductions, we also took steps to reduce overhead and exploration costs and those initiatives were also successfully implemented during the second quarter. We reduced our North American mining rates in the second quarter by about 20% compared to the year ago quarter. We also reduced our contract labor significantly and our team stepped up -- internal team stepped up to fill in the gaps. We continue to effectively implement the cost containment programs that have been under way in Indonesia. And as a result of these combined initiatives, our unit cash costs declined from $1.90 [Technical Issues] cost basis in the first quarter [Technical Issues] per pound in the second quarter, this was over 10% better than our April forecast. We're continuing to manage all costs very carefully as it trend lower in the second half of the year and into 2021[Phonetic] volumes at a very low incremental.

Our current forecast incorporates [Technical Issues] currency rates and other input costs. These input costs have increased somewhat from our April forecast, but this has been offset by improved gold prices. So we're continuing to expect our net unit cash cost for the year to be roughly $1.53, that's similar to the average cost we estimated of $1.55 in April and in 2021, the average is expected to be $1.20 per pound. With the rising volumes and declining cash costs, we expect our margins and cash flow [Technical Issues] year. As you look at Slide 20, this provides the EBITDA and cash flow sensitivities and shows the significant cash flow generation that we expect from the business bringing in the additional volumes into 2021 and 2022 and beyond.

As you'll see, if we assume gold prices flat at $1,800 per ounce and molybdenum flat at [Technical Issues], we would generate [Technical Issues] of annual EBITDA between $2.75 per pound and $3.25 [Technical Issues]. Operating cash flows, which are reflected at the bottom of the chart would range between $4 billion and $5 billion at these price levels. This provides significant amount of cash flow to fund our capital expenditures and provides excess cash flows for further balance sheet improvement and returns to shareholders. We're all very focused on this. We're very close to getting there as you'll see from the results we expect in the fourth quarter of this year. And much of the capital that was required to generate this result has already been spent to achieve this and we'll continue to maintain our focus on delivering these results.

On Slide 21, we present the capital spending plans. We'll continue to manage the capital plans in line with the revised estimates we laid out in April. As a reminder, we reduced our 2020 capital spending by about $800 million and we're tracking very well against those plans. The bulk of the $2 billion capital budget for 2020 relates to the Grasberg underground development, which will pay back quickly as we reach capacity rates. As Richard indicated, the spending for Lonestar in 2020 is largely behind us and we'll begin to generate cash flow from that operation. We have adjusted slightly the 2021 capital budget down from $2.3 billion to $2.2 billion, that was originally estimated at the beginning of the year to total $2.4 billion and we're presenting our 2022 estimates. And as you will see, the spending at Grasberg will begin to decline and decline after 2022 as well. We're going to continue to manage our capital spending levels very carefully. We remain very disciplined in carrying out our revised operating plans.

Turning to our financial and liquidity position, you'll see we had strong liquidity at the end of June, totaling $5 billion and our financial position is strong. We've taken steps to protect the balance sheet and liquidity [Technical Issues] capital markets [Technical Issues] 12 months to extend our flexibility. We [Technical Issues] and achieved a [Technical Issues]. During the second quarter, [Technical Issues] which provides substantial flexibility and gives us under the bank credit facility.

Debt at the end of June of $8.4 billion, that's a debt of just under $10 billion net of our cash position of $1.5 billion and that equates to about 2.5 times the estimated 2020 EBITDA. Notably that relates, if you look at 2021 EBITDA, the leverage is 1 point, [Technical Issues] were to apply the 2021 projected excess cash flow to net debt reduction, we'd have $5.3 billion of net debt at the end of [Technical Issues] one-time the 2021 EBITDA. [Technical Issues] will be considered by the Board. There is a strong commitment to drive shareholder returns. [Technical Issues] consider financial power [Technical Issues] as we go forward. We show at the bottom of the chart, the average duration of our debt, which is currently just under 11 years. And as you can see, we've built significant flexibility with a maturity schedule that is a very attractive profile over the next few years. Regarding financial policy, as we've covered throughout this call, we remain focused on safeguarding our people and our business and maintaining a strong [Technical Issues] as we manage through uncertainty during the pandemic.

As previously reported, our Board has indicated it does not expect to declare dividends in 2020 but this will be evaluated on [Technical Issues] we successfully execute these plans and in 2021, we expect to be in a much stronger position with increased cash flows, enhanced flexibility to consider shareholder returns.

So that's just a summary of our quarter and outlook. And now, operator, we'd like to take questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Our first question will come from the line of David Gagliano with BMO Capital Markets.

David Gagliano -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thanks for taking my questions. You covered a lot of it in the prepared remarks, but I did just want to try and probe a little bit more on the capital return policy. Obviously, strong free cash flow generation expected over the next six quarters. Net debt metrics below 1 times, bit of average leverage and from a timing perspective, when should investors start thinking about getting some of that cash back?

Richard C. Adkerson -- Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

So, Dave, we've always used to approach those questions not from the standpoint of developing any particular financial metrics but assessing commodity markets, cash flows and where we stand. We will want to reduce our debt from the current levels, we were doing that on track -- on a track to do that before COVID, yes. And so as these cash flows recover and Kathleen talks about capital spending going down, we will have much higher volumes and the prospects for higher copper prices, we'll have opportunities in the [Technical Issues] by the end of 2021 to achieve that goal of reducing debt going forward. Now [Technical Issues] Kathleen and her team for the actions that have been taken over the past 10 months or so, we've had three bond offerings now that have been very successful at rates that are really attractive considering the fact that we're just beyond being an investment-grade, still we expect some day to get back to investment grade, but now we spread out our maturities. We work with flexibility with the bank group. So I can't give you anything other than if this world unfolds like we hope in the very near future, we're going to be able to return paying dividends.

And looking at the possibility of buying stock back depending on how the equity market reacts to our improved situation. Quite frankly, expect the equity market to react positively in a significant way.

David Gagliano -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay, thanks for that. And somewhat related on the Indonesian smelter. I mean, first, I'm assuming that the cash flow numbers that are -- those projected net debt numbers do not include anything for the smelter and the capex for the smelter.

Kathleen L. Quirk -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

That's correct.

David Gagliano -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay. And then in the press release --

Richard C. Adkerson -- Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

But let me just say, I know you understand this day because you've followed us so closely over the years. But to be clear to everyone else, the smelter, if we go forward with the current plan, and as I said, that's under discussion, will be financed by PT-FI where we have a 49% equity interest, but because of our shareholders agreement with the Government of Indonesia and the state-owned company MIND ID, we consolidate. So we have a 49% interest, we financed via that entity but it will show up as consolidated debt because we consolidate PT-FI, which is really good for the way we present our financial statements.

David Gagliano -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay, that's helpful. Then just really quickly, the related question there on the Indonesian smelter. The press release does provide other alternatives in terms of differing schedule for the project as well as other alternatives. Can you touch a little bit more on what those other alternatives might be?

Richard C. Adkerson -- Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

One of the positive things about this is these considerations within the Indonesian government are being led by the Minister and the Ministry of State-owned Enterprises, whereas in the past we had to deal with that on our own. We have aligned interest with the state-owned enterprises. And a number of alternatives are being considered, which would be alternatives to building the smelter as presently contemplated. It's a complicated political situation it goes without saying, but the economic benefits to the government are really strong if we were to pursue other alternatives that would require significantly less capital from PT-FI.

David Gagliano -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay, that's helpful. Thanks very much.

Richard C. Adkerson -- Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Dave.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Carlos de Alba with Morgan Stanley.

Carlos de Alba -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Thank you very much. Good morning, everyone. So my question is on the ramp up in Indonesia on the ground operations. I appreciate that. Congratulations on achieving the targets and being there on the right track to deliver the results there. I just have a question on exhibit on Slide 35, the open drawbells on a cumulative blasted basis declined a little bit from the last quarter presentation. So it's a little bit less in 2020/'21 and '22 in the DMLZ and for the GBC, it is lower in 2020 and 2021, slightly higher in 2022. So I appreciate that this may be too specific of a question, but given that this is probably the most important aspect of Freeport going forward, I just wanted to get some clarification as to what drove that rise in the forecast? Thank you.

Kathleen L. Quirk -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, this is Kathleen. There were just minor revisions to the Deep MLZ and GBC drawbells and you can see at the end of 2021, we had 2-13[Phonetic] for Deep MLZ and 322[Phonetic] and those have been reduced by 3 each, it's not been anything significant and just slight timing differences. By the end of 2022, and Deep MLZ were just slightly below, but it doesn't change the ore extraction levels and it's pretty much the same plan that we've been on.

Carlos de Alba -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Understood. Thank you very much and good luck.

Richard C. Adkerson -- Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. I'll just say this is a, as I mentioned earlier, this is a complicated operation. Mark Johnson is on the call and nobody knows that better than him. So they're going to be ups and downs and adjustments and so forth, that's part of our everyday life out there. But just step back and look at the big picture of what we set out to do and what we're doing, and we have confidence that over time, we'll do it. But having said that, there will be things that we will have to deal with as we had in the past. So you will see adjustments like this occur from time to time.

Carlos de Alba -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Understood. Richard. Thank you very much for the color.

Operator

Okay. Your next question will come from the line of Alex Hacking with Citi.

Alex Hacking -- Citi -- Analyst

Yeah, good morning. Thanks, Richard and Kathleen. I just wanted to ask around the production guidance. In the last quarter in the teeth of the COVID crisis and copper prices extremely low, you cut your production guidance for this year and in particular next year where you took couple hundred million pounds out of South America, is that something that gets revisited if copper prices are sustained at these levels? Or are those kind of revised mine plans locked in now? Thank you.

Richard C. Adkerson -- Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, they are revised mine plans that we're following. And we are not -- we're tweaking, but we're not making any major adjustments to those until we have clarity in this market situation. But as clarity occurs, the plans will be adjusted, the resources are there some of this -- the cut production was lower margin production and if prices increase, it becomes profitable again. So there will be timing impacts as to how it ramps up and so forth, so it will be part of our future. But, Alex, as you know all too well, this is not a turn on a spigot, turn off a spigot thing. You ratchet back, it has impact, to ramp it back up takes some time.

Alex Hacking -- Citi -- Analyst

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question will come from the line of Chris LaFemina with Jefferies.

Chris LaFemina -- Jefferies -- Analyst

Hey, good morning Richard, Kathleen, and thank you for taking my question. For me the most impressive data point in this earnings release was the unit cost performance in the Americas, especially on a site production delivery cost basis, where you had very substantial reductions in the first quarter -- the second quarter, I suppose that's a function of the changes to your operating plans. My question relates to the guidance. So if you look at your unit cost guidance for 2020 in particular for South America, it implies that site production delivery costs will rise in the second half of the year. And I'm wondering why that might be? And I suppose related to that is Cerro Verde production. I think in the last quarter, you had guided to second half 2020 mill rate of 400,000 tons per day. And in the press release today -- in the presentation today, you're guiding to 350,000 tons per day. So I'm wondering if there is some kind of cost increase that we should expect for Cerro Verde in the second half of the year? I would have thought that with the mill rate going up from the run rate in the second quarter to the second half of the year, unit cost might actually fall further, but it does not appear to be the case. So just if you can get some -- give us some clarity as to what exactly is going on the cost outlook for the second half of the year in South America in particular?

Kathleen L. Quirk -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. The main change in the second half compared to the second quarter in South America relates to increasing the Cerro Verde mining rate. And during the second quarter, the mining rate was lower than what we expect and in order to get the mill rate up on a sustained basis, we'll have to begin increasing the mining rate. So that's what that reflects in the second half. But to your point about the cost reductions, the team is just on bringing down costs. I mentioned the use of -- reduction in contract costs. We've had some headwinds on some of the currency exchange rates and in energy costs from the low levels that we had in the second quarter, those have reversed a little bit, but the disciplines of driving the cost performance and balancing that with production is something that our team is very focused on. So to the prior question about increasing copper volumes, we're being very careful to make sure that we have sustainable cost savings in the cost structure before starting to ramp up. But specifically on South America [Technical Issues] from the second quarter levels.

Chris LaFemina -- Jefferies -- Analyst

Okay, thanks. And one other question really.

Richard C. Adkerson -- Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Hey, Chris, let me come in here because I really appreciate the comments you made about the performance in the Americas. You know, and this goes back to the rationale we're together but the Americas operations are lower grade ore deposits, which is kind of the world forward in the copper industry and Red Conger and Josh Olmsted have just had such experience with this, but are doing such a great job and it's the operations in the field, the way they're managing the team, we operate all the mines that we have interest in. So we're able to achieve synergies across the board. Our global supply chain group has done just a great job in working with our suppliers and coming in with cost. We've had a playbook for this. I mean, we've done this before and we're doing again very effectively. But these guys really need to be recognized. We're dealing with this entirely different set of management challenges than you have with this high grade mine we have in Grasberg. And I want to also So we recognize Kathleen, and Steve Higgins, our Chief Administration Officer for what we've done with G&A. This is really significant. You know, our Company changed dramatically at the end of 2016 when we exited the oil and gas business, restructuring our management team. But at that year, we really had $700 million of G&A, now our current expectations are that we go down to $355 million. It's been in steps over these years, but that's almost a 50% over the past now 40 years and this has been done as a process. We made some major steps we had to furlough some people, unfortunately we had to incentivize early retirement severance plan. We reduced our head count in our centralized groups by something over 30%. But this is all part of the things that have come out from this COVID initiative and they all have long lasting benefits. As a company we'll never work in the same way that we did before this COVID thing came. There's going to be less office space, less meetings, less travel, we've proved to ourselves that we can work effectively. We did not go back to work in Phoenix when the Governor opened the state up.

The halls are and offices are empty in our headquarters, and yet you can see the results in this quarter about how effectively we can operate in this kind of environment and we are learning lessons from that that will carry forward to the way we do business in the future.

Chris LaFemina -- Jefferies -- Analyst

Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Jatinder Goel with Exane BNP Paribas.

Jatinder Goel -- Exane BNP Paribas -- Analyst

Good morning. Just a quick question thinking more long term. Richard, you alluded that when market conditions allow, you can look at Lone Star expansion and you also indicated about 5 million ton gap emerging in the market by 2030. To me, the real constraints for you appear to be balance sheet and potentially management capacity till Grasberg is delivered. So from a long-term perspective, you've got three things probably on your plate, Lone Star, El Abra, and Kucing Liar, which you can look after Grasberg is delivered and balance sheet is at a more normal capacity. How quickly you can move to develop either or all of those projects and what could be the order of priority? So, just trying to get some sense on your earliest possible timeline and order of priority. Thank you.

Richard C. Adkerson -- Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

The timelines are long. One of the issues that's so supportive of copper supply is simply how long it takes from identifying a resource to doing the feasibility studies for how it's to be developed, how it's to permitted in processing and so forth. So all of these things will take long term. And that is a key reason of why the outlook for copper as a commodity is so strong. The current projects that are being pursued today are not in the aggregate significant to the market but are significant to companies but they're being delayed. So you ask about our situation.

The Kucing Liar fits into our long term mine plan for Grasberg and that's something that we're assessing and we'll consider and look at going forward. Lone Star has the opportunity for oxide expansion, which is growing. That could be done with a limited amount of investment in new facilities. But longer term, there's a large sulphide resource, and this will be long term but it is very, very large. And that would require very, very large concentrator expansion.

We have great opportunities at El Abra with our partner Codelco in Chile. We have great opportunities in the US at other properties, including Bagdad, Morenci, Sierrita, our properties in New Mexico. And so, all of these things are being studied. We are going to be very-disciplined about it. First steps for cash flow will be using debt, increasing shareholder -- returns to shareholders, and then we will -- we have restrained spending in the project evaluation area, as we have across the board and our country for the current time. As the situation improves, we'll return to investing in the evaluation process. And from that, we'll come to timing schedule that you have. We don't have one right now. But we will keep you informed as this unfolds and we start spending again and getting in the process for evaluation. But, key, positive feature about Freeport is this opportunity to grow our business internally to develop resources which we get no value for currently today in our stock price.

If we develop those ourselves, all that value goes to our shareholders as opposed to making an acquisition where substantial value goes to the owners of the asset being acquired. I know that's not a clear answer to your question, but it's a truthful answer to where we are.

Jatinder Goel -- Exane BNP Paribas -- Analyst

That's very helpful. Thank you so much for the clarification.

Operator

Your next question will come from the line of Lucas Pipes with B. Riley FBR.

Lucas Pipes -- B. Riley FBR -- Analyst

Hey, good morning, everyone, and congrats on another very strong quarter. Richard, in light of current gold prices, I wondered if you have considered changing your float into foremost in copper, second in gold or something along those lines?

Richard C. Adkerson -- Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Lucas, gold, like copper, has its ups and downs and often gold is up when copper is down, copper's up when gold is down. I remember years ago when gold was really high, I decided to change the name to Freeport Gold and Copper. That was before --

Lucas Pipes -- B. Riley FBR -- Analyst

And you already touched on my question that is gold equities tend to trade at substantially lower discount rates. And I wondered how you're thinking about that types that changing names or changing slogans. Thank you very much, Richard.

Richard C. Adkerson -- Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, we have over the years looked at a number of strategic alternatives involving our gold asset. Back in the days, before Phelps Dodge, Freeport was a company that was two-thirds copper, one-third gold, and we really struggled to attract investors because of the different objectives of gold investors and copper objectives. And really, we found the only way we could track investors was paying extraordinarily high dividends. And you are all too young to remember that, but that was where we were. We made the commitment to the copper business. The gold component of Grasberg is as I talked about earlier a key reason of why that asset is so fabulously attracted. And so, we're a price taker with gold. We continually review options about dealing with it. But, today we concluded that its greatest value to us is funding the cost of Grasberg. Just think about this having 1.5 billion pounds of copper was no cost or negative cost. And so, that's the role we see it playing in our Company.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of John Tumazos with John Tumazos Very Independent Research.

John Tumazos -- John Tumazos Very Independent Research -- Analyst

Hank you very much. Congratulations on the great production, and thank you for the update on the next smelter. Some of the other companies have cut back on exploration, waste stripping, underground development or maintenance and the struggle to keep up production. Are there any of those functions that have been delayed at some of your sites such that 2022, 2023, 2024 output targets might be a little uphill or tougher to meet?

Richard C. Adkerson -- Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you very much. Congratulations on the great production, and thank you for the update on the next smelter. Some of the other companies have cut back on exploration, waste stripping, underground development or maintenance and the struggle to keep up production. Are there any of those functions that have been delayed at some of your sites such that 2022, 2023, 2024 output targets might be a little uphill or tougher to meet?

Kathleen L. Quirk -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. I was just going to say, the mining rate reduction that we took in the US was deliberate in terms of getting the cost structure as low as possible. And so, the metal production rates that we show in our forecast are consistent with the level of mining rates that we are deliberately working toward. It's not like a situation where we have an update at the metal forecast to coincide with the mining rates. So, our mining rate and metal forecasts are aligned. In second quarter, we did have similar mining rates for Cerro Verde because of the pandemic. That was the only one where we mined less and kept the mill as full as possible, and we'll have to ramp up mining in the second half. But, the rest of the mining operations in the US really were cut back deliberately, and we've reflected that in our metal forecast. If we were to ramp back up, which our current plans assume it will start ramping back mining rates in 2022 timeframe, you would start to see metal improve over time. But we haven't short-cutted anything. And so, all of our mining rates in metal forecasts are in line.

John Tumazos -- John Tumazos Very Independent Research -- Analyst

If I could ask one more, and thank you for the two replies. You have the footnote on the Lone Star slide that the potential mineralization is over 50 billion pounds that I guess would be at least 3 billion tons of mineralized material. In your gut, do you think that the Lone Star is more like 3 billion tons or 5 or 10 or even bigger?

Richard C. Adkerson -- Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Hey, Red? Red, you're on the call, right?

Harry M Red Conger -- President and Chief Operating Officer-Americas

Yes. John, it's a huge district. We're very excited about it as we've reported in the past, lots of drilling to be conducted where I think we're going to find that the full district has mineralization in it, where if you look at the maps, Lone Star is miles away from those progresses where we first started mining. So lots of drilling yet to do, but the Lone Star deposit is what we know about, it as a mineralized material that you just cited. And we'll continue to drill and explore there and update those as we get more information.

Kathleen L. Quirk -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. And I think John, as you know, the oxide project that we're doing plus potential expansion of oxides is really not only economic in terms of the initial investments. But, it exposes the sulfide ores and makes that opportunity -- it's a long-term opportunity, but makes that opportunity more economic as we continue to mine the oxide. So, we're very excited about the district. And it's a long-term play but one that we feel will be a big part of Freeport's future going forward.

John Tumazos -- John Tumazos Very Independent Research -- Analyst

Thank you.

Operator

Your next question we'll have on the line of Chris Terry with Deutsche Bank.

Chris Terry -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Hi, Richard and Kathleen. I hope you're both well. Just a quick one for me and that is the 2021/2022 volumes were just down a touch versus the last quarter, just comparing the two presentations. So I think it's 100 million pounds or so. Is that just a bring forward effect where you've done better in 2020, or is there something else to that? It's very minor but sort of check.

Kathleen L. Quirk -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes No, the main difference was the mining and milling in South America. We have assumed a lower rate in Cerro Verde. We were previously at 400 sooner than what's in our current plans, and we've made some minor adjustments also to El Abra. So they were minor revisions but did end up impacting 2021 and 2022. Grasberg is unchanged.

Chris Terry -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Okay, thanks. Actually, one follow-up just to complete one of the questions from a bit early just on the cost side. You commented on some of the ups and downs. You had the tailwind from, I think, in Indonesia on the currency last quarter and then oil down drastically. And then there's ups and downs on mining rights. But from a macro sense, just given that we've now seen copper start to rebound, are we entering environment, where you start to get inflation in general on some of the costs for the business as well, just more from the macro variables?

Kathleen L. Quirk -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

The main thing that we've seen really is on the currency rates. We've had the energy prices from our prior forecasts were up about 18%, from April forecasts. But we've also had -- and some of this has been offset with gold. But the way that the dollar has raised against some of these currencies has had an impact on our costs in Indonesia with the rupiah rate and to a lesser extent in Chile and Peru. But,, that's really the only thing we have seen is really these macro, currency exchange rates and the energy prices. We haven't seen and we continue to work with our suppliers, we haven't seen inflation in other areas. And of course, with the level of employment, etc. the labor rate pressure is not what it is sometimes when you see copper prices rallying.

So we're going to continue to focus on driving out as much cost as we can, using this time period to execute the plans, the revised plans and drive costs as low as we can. And in the US and in South America, the costs really have a big impact on value, because the lower the costs, the bigger the resource. And so, we will focus on that as we go through 2020.

Chris Terry -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Great, thanks. Thanks, Kathleen, and congrats on a great turnaround in the quarter.

Richard C. Adkerson -- Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks a lot.

Operator

Your next question will come from the line of Brian MacArthur with Raymond James.

Brian MacArthur -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Just two quick questions. First of all, I just want to confirm, the forecast through 2022 and all your production, your cash flows, is Chino in there or is it not?

Kathleen L. Quirk -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

It is not. It's currently remained idled and we're still evaluating next steps with respect to restart.

Brian MacArthur -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Perfect. Thank you. My second question and I know maybe getting a little ahead of myself here, but obviously you're going to generate an awful lot of cash flow going forward. And as Richard said, you've been working for 15 years to get everything underground, set up the Grasberg, which have a lot of work. And you've sort of had ongoing major project costs of $1 billion a year and you get down to $900 million in 2022. And I understand too in 2022, the ownership changes in a little bit. But what does the ongoing capital look like sort of post 2022, once we get the GBC developed, everything's up and running, how long can you do it, like just keep generating without major capital go into KL or something? Because I would think post that period, you've had substantial capital to build this thing for 15 years. Some of that on a runway should come off or is that right?

Kathleen L. Quirk -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. And in terms of our current plans, we project the capital will decline in 2022 from 2021, as we mentioned, but even further beginning in 2023. We're looking at KL and relooking at the project and running scenarios and trade-off analysis to look at the capital involved in developing KL, which involves potentially having some additional processing equipment to handle pyrite ores. We're looking at if there is a higher NPV option that involves lower capital that would mine the areas that have less pyrite. And so, actually from a value standpoint, it could be something that's more valuable than just full out development of the whole resource. So, we're currently in progress with those analyses.

But for the foreseeable future, as we get a Grasberg ramped up, the capital will decline. And we don't have a major decision to make. In the next few years, we will want to settle on what the KL plan is, but in terms of capital outlays, we don't have major increases in capital forecast in our plans for Kucing Liar. We want to deliver the Grasberg and Deep MLZ first.

Brian MacArthur -- Raymond James -- Analyst

It makes great sense, but would capital down like a lot at Grasberg in '20 -- like when I say go down a lot, I mean you've been spending about $1 billion in development a year plus sustaining, give or take, will that go down like $200 million or $300 million for a few years, or I guess that's all dependent on whether --

Kathleen L. Quirk -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Aside from KL, you could see capex at Grasberg going down to $300 million or $400 million level. And ultimately, we'll have to make decision on what the plan is for KL. But, it'll go down significantly beginning in 2023 and beyond. So, just the cash flow from GBC, from Grasberg Block Cave and Deep MLZ are going to be massive. And we'll look at reinvesting that into KL over time.

Brian MacArthur -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Kathleen, you did say to $300 million to $400 million, right?

Kathleen L. Quirk -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Right. It'll go down to $300 million to $400 million, right, from over $1 billion.

Brian MacArthur -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Yes. Right. Great. Thank you very much. Again congratulations on the great progress that has been made.

Operator

Our final question will come from the line of Michael Dudas with VRP.

Michael Dudas -- VRP -- Analyst

Thanks, Richard and Kathleen. What a difference a quarter makes?

Kathleen L. Quirk -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

We were just saying the same thing.

Michael Dudas -- VRP -- Analyst

My question is, Richard, do you think how your company and the industry has evolved and managed through COVID in the past four months and what will happen in the future? Do you think that the industry or maybe Freeport particularly and industry in general will be perceived as a better partner from a labor and a government standpoint? So, as we move forward in the next several years of higher prices and development and maybe some issues with regard to royalties and such, do you think that what's come out that will be helpful to the industry and that could also maybe be helpful on ESG or any type of thing? Thank you.

Richard C. Adkerson -- Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, I do. In fact, early this morning, I added to my notes that I was going to say that I said earlier actually when we're done with COVID, in many respects [Technical Issues] closer to communities and governments. [Technical Issues] I recall, going into February, going into March, when we started working remotely, Kathleen and I were looking at each other and saying, OK, now what are we going to do? And by April, we had a plan. Well, that's the situation for all these communities and all these governments, and people are still struggling with that. And so, by our being aggressive in investing in healthcare protocols, testing equipment and doing things to help these communities in Indonesia, I mean, we have two PCR labs. Here in the United States, what does it take often, a week to two weeks to get PCR results? Well, we have two PCR labs, one in Lone and one to the Highlands, which we're working with community use, and that's much appreciated. We had to build an oxygen facility in for Arequipa.

So by showing that we are competent in managing these, by showing we have sensitivities to workers' families and the communities by working with governments to do that, we're showing both, competency, sensitivity and the fact that we are committed to being good partners. So I think all of that's going to be beneficial. We've achieved that in steps. We moved our headquarters to Arizona several years ago. We made a big commitment to show people of Arizona that we could be good partners. And now, we are broadly regarded as being great partners. So, that's an excellent point. And ESG matters are growing in importance and significance to investors. We know that. We believe that's a good trend. And we will measure up well by that, because that's just what our commitment is.

Michael Dudas -- VRP -- Analyst

It's quite encouraging. Thank you, Richard.

Richard C. Adkerson -- Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

So, thank you all --

Operator

Now, I'll turn the call over to management.

Richard C. Adkerson -- Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Gina. Thanks all of you joining us. We appreciate your interest, appreciate the good questions. Of course, a quarter's made a heck of a difference, but it is so great now to be focused totally on what we are doing operationally with our business. We look forward to reporting continued progress. As always, if any of you have questions or need some more information, contact David Joint, and we'll be responsive. Good luck to everybody. Take care. This thing is not controlled yet. So all of you be careful and watch out for your families and friends.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 91 minutes

Call participants:

Kathleen L. Quirk -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Richard C. Adkerson -- Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Harry M Red Conger -- President and Chief Operating Officer-Americas

David Gagliano -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

Carlos de Alba -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Alex Hacking -- Citi -- Analyst

Chris LaFemina -- Jefferies -- Analyst

Jatinder Goel -- Exane BNP Paribas -- Analyst

Lucas Pipes -- B. Riley FBR -- Analyst

John Tumazos -- John Tumazos Very Independent Research -- Analyst

Chris Terry -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Brian MacArthur -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Michael Dudas -- VRP -- Analyst

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