Commodities, Copper, Gold, News, Production

OZ lifts output in strong copper market


OZ Minerals has increased its copper production by 22 per cent following strong performance at its Prominent Hill and Carrapateena copper-gold mines in South Australia.

The company produced 32,681 tonnes of copper for the June quarter of 2021 compared with 26,842 tonnes in the March quarter.

This included 156,945 tonnes of copper at Prominent Hill and 14,183 tonnes of copper at Carrapateena.

OZ Minerals managing director and chief executive officer Andrew Cole said the company’s annual copper production guidance of 120,000-145,000 tonnes remained on track.

“A strong second quarter from our major South Australian operations and favourable copper prices saw us finish the half in a robust financial position with a cash balance of $134 million and our corporate debt facility fully repaid from operating cashflow,” he said.

“Full-year group copper production guidance remains on track notwithstanding a lowering of annual guidance in the Carajás, Brazil, which has been impacted by direct and flow-on effects of COVID-19.”

The company’s gold grades from its long-term stockpiles increased the company’s full-year gold production guidance from 190,000-215,000 ounces, to 205,000-228,000 ounces.

OZ Minerals’ annual gold guidance for the 2021 financial year has increased from 190,000-215,000 ounces, to 205,000-228,000 ounces.

The company’s all-in sustaining costs have also reduced to $US134.50 ($182.15) from $US136.50 in the previous quarter.

Cole said OZ Minerals had mined a record 1.14 million tonnes of underground ore at Prominent Hill at 1.65 per cent copper.

“As expected, second quarter copper production was higher than the prior quarter,” he said.

“Grade increased at Carrapateena in line with its mine plan. Prominent Hill continued to reliably increase the level of underground ore mined with (the June quarter) delivering the highest recorded underground ore mined to date.”

OZ Minerals’ revenue for the first half of 2021 was $986 million with a cash balance of $134 million.

Cole said the company’s financial position had helped advanced the study phase of its West Musgrave copper-nickel project in Western Australia.

“Our strong financial position continues to support our pipeline of major brownfield projects at Carrapateena and Prominent Hill, and the potential West Musgrave Project currently advancing through the study phase,” he said.

“Prominent Hill has continued to sustain annualised rates above 4 million tonnes per annum with work continuing at the bottom of the current life-of-mine level to establish level infrastructure for the commencement of the bottom-up mining sequence.”

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