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Jewellery stocks trade mixed on Dhanteras; Titan shares hit week Our current forecast assumes we will continue this through November. But we also ended September with a higher level of concentrate inventory and we'll be working this down in the fourth quarter. We show a table at the bottom of Slide 12 which presents our consolidated production for the quarter and that exceeded our sales by 69 million pounds of copper and 90, ounces and this relates to timing of shipments of concentrate from Cerro Verde and also from Indonesia where we built some inventory in the quarter.
This is simply a timing matter and we expect to sell this inventory in the fourth quarter and get back to normal levels of inventory by year-end. On slide 13 we're summarizing our consolidated sales outlook for the periods through The projections are in line and broadly consistent with our previous estimates. Our copper sales are expected to grow by roughly million pounds in and million pounds in compared to This includes a scheduled ramp-up of production that Richard referred to earlier at Grasberg, and the commissioning of our Lone Star mine next year.
In , about two-thirds of this copper production will be produced from the Americas and the balance from Indonesia. This outlook does not include the opportunities being pursued with technology and innovation that Richard discussed earlier and we're targeting the potential to add million pounds of copper per annum through these initiatives. We also expect our gold volumes to rise over this period with high grades available to us in Indonesia and recall the district has high grades of both copper and gold in the same ore which makes Grasberg a low-cost valuable operation.
Our molybdenum sales are generally flat over this period, but we have significant optionality in our portfolio and can adjust production rates from our primary mines if market conditions warrant. We refer you to page 14 where we've modeled our EBITDA and cash flows at various prices to give you a range of the cash earnings and cash flow generating capacity of the Company.
You will note the significant positive leverage we have to improving market conditions on the slide. These added volumes that we're bringing in are expected to come at a low incremental cost and that provides us with solid margin expansion even at low prices, and as we've been emphasizing it's about execution and over the next few quarters achieving our key milestones will continue to derisk the plan. The story is the same for operating cash flows where we're expanding operating cash flow over the next few years and that's net of our cash taxes and interest costs presented on the slide.
We show our capital expenditures in -- on slide 15 and these are broadly in line with our prior guidance. As Richard mentioned, we're continuing to manage capital carefully and thoughtfully.
The investments we're making now or at an advanced stage will strengthen our margins at low prices, enhance our long-term asset base and provide leverage to improve markets over time. As indicated in the press release, we're completing engineering studies and we also have -- we're expecting to have the engineered estimates and project schedules in the first part of next year.
We've been working with a group of banks on debt financing for the smelter. We expect to debt finance the capital cost of the smelter at the PT Freeport Indonesia level, and that is expected to be non-recourse to FCX. We are advancing the discussions with the banks and hope to have a facility in place to fund the cash outlays for the smelter. Currently, we do not expect the dividends out of PT-FI. And we use the proceeds to redeem debt with near-term maturities and we also redeemed the higher coupon notes. We were able to extend our average maturity by a year.
You can see here on the table where our weighted average maturity is roughly 10 years now, and we reduced our average coupon during this process.
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Our balance sheet's in good shape and we don't have significant maturities until and have a strong liquidity position. In closing, on slide 17, you see our road map to our growth in cash flows to drive shareholder value. Each of these initiatives is advancing well. The momentum that we have in each of these projects is real and we're very focused as a management team on executing these plans effectively and have a clear path in front of us to substantial growth in revenues, margins and free cash flow.
Ladies and gentlemen, we will now begin the question-and-answer session.
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Hi, Richard and Kathleen. Thanks for taking my questions. The first one just relates to the grade reconciliation. So I was wondering if you could just talk firstly, on the gold for the full year? You've increased that. Is that just a timing issue or are you getting better reconciliation? And then, for the underground, you talked a lot about the development, but how is the grade -- how are the grades reconciling in copper and gold on the underground development?
With respect to the first question, the increase in gold for principally relates to the open-pit ore. We've extended the mining of open pit through November, and we're doing this on a limited basis, but it does have high grades. And so, it does impact us.
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There is a potential that we could extend the pit longer, but our real focus is on getting the underground ramp-up, which is going well. And we have not had any issues with respect to the grades. We've got good grades, higher than reserve grade coming from Deep MLZ in the early years, and that's part of what drives the metal production. But -- and Mark's on the line. Mark, I don't know if you have anything to add about the the grades, but we believe we're in good shape on that front. In GBC and Deep MLZ, we're just really starting to touch the bottom of the columns and sampling through some of the drawbell period and some of the initial primary fragmentation is a bit challenging.
We get a lot of big material, but everything we've seen so far is consistent with what we would expect. The ore bodies are very well drilled, like Richard had mentioned earlier. These are not new ore bodies. They are extension of ore bodies that we've been mining for years. So we haven't seen any issues there.
And for those of you who follow the Grasberg open pit for years, you will remember that we always had this high-grade core of gold. That's the way the mine was designed to access that, and that's why we're doing the surgical mining. When I was there, there was only two shovels working at the bottom of this pit. We mined out the haul road, so it's single-lane haul roads going down and coming up. But the reasons for doing that and trying to extend this is the ore, we are getting such high-grade gold. I mean it's extraordinary grade. And so that's the whole reason we're continuing to do it.
We'll do it as long as we can, until the development of the Grasberg Block Cave pit. Eventually, well geotechnically, require us to get out and we've got procedures to get out very quickly, and we're monitoring with due diligence. But as long as we can get down to that high-grade gold, we're going to do it. And that's what you're seeing, Chris. Okay, thanks -- thanks for the color on that. Second question, just on slide 17, when you are stepping through the future of the Company, I just wondered if you could comment, once you get through the ramp-up period of Grasberg and then have more decisions about future projects versus potential capital returns, can you just rank those?
Are you trying to do both, is it one over the other? I just wondered if you could talk through what the priorities are for the medium-term investor? I can't wait till we face that. So here's what I think will unfold and it's going to depend on what the economics of the world are and so forth. But we will be generating cash and we will use that cash to manage our debt level on our balance sheet initially and return -- our balance sheet, we're comfortable with it.
It's not a question of having to do things, but it will be sort of the situation we were in years past. We will be increasing returns to shareholders. Shareholders will have been patient, they deserve to be rewarded for that, and so we will be focused on the shareholder returns. With that, we've had a traditional emphasis on dividends, but we will be looking at share price and deciding about share buybacks and dividends. We will also be looking if markets warrant disciplined investments in some of these undeveloped resources of Freeport, which I think is a great asset for our Company.
But in any event, if we pursue those and it will be disciplined, those in our industry are investments that are undertaken over time. It's not one-time investments. We have lots of people we'd like to be partners with us, and we'll make assessments of about that. So, my own view of how this will end up for all is success with the transition in these initiatives that we have, confident of that.
I believe copper markets will be better, because I don't think today's price is sustainable and I think the world is geared for a brighter future. That will mean a lot of cash. We will use some of that probably to pay down some debt, shareholder returns and longer-term investments. Thanks, Richard. The last one from me, maybe for Kathleen.
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Just on the timing of the sales versus the production, do you expect most of that to be caught up in 4Q or will you still have any imbalance that will head into , if so, i. We are expecting that our inventories will be at normal levels. We do usually have some inventories at site, but generally, our production matches our sales. And in the fourth quarter, we expect to sell more than our production and get inventories back to normal.
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You always have from time-to-time some shipping, weather type things, but we're not expecting anything out of the ordinary and except most of that to be and it's reflected in our guidance, most of that to be sold in the fourth quarter. Good morning, Richard and Kathleen. I just have one question. You mentioned in the slides there have been some seismic activity at DMLZ, that it's slowed some of the undercutting rates and so on. Obviously, underground mining is not necessarily as linear as open-pit mining and there are issues that crop up from time-to-time.
So I guess, my question is, are you comfortable that there is enough production blocks, all at draw points, effectively sort of latency and optionality in that's been engineered into the DMLZ, so that if these geo -- as these geotechnical issues crop up over time, that you won't have significant impacts on production?