OZ Minerals has boosted its gold production guidance for the 2021-22 financial year after stockpiles at the Prominent Hill mine in Western Australia delivered higher grades.
The company’s gold guidance for the 2021 financial year has increased from 205,000 to 228,000 ounces to 220,000 to 243,000 ounces.
Gold production increased from 57,875 ounces in the June quarter to 65,932 ounces in the September quarter.
“Prominent Hill copper and gold production remains strong with continued higher than expected gold grade in stockpiles resulting in a further increase to annual gold production guidance,” OZ Minerals managing director and chief executive officer Andrew Cole said.
“With the Wira shaft mine expansion approved during the quarter, the project team has quickly moved to awarding critical work packages.”
The company is also anticipating it will reach the lower end of its 120,000 to 145,000 ounce copper guidance.
This is due to copper grades moving closer to reserve grades at the Carrapateena gold mine in South Australia, with OZ Minerals focussing on cave growth assurance works at the mine in the December quarter.
Cole said labour shortages in Australia continued to be a significant issue for OZ Minerals’ operations.
“COVID-19 outbreaks in the eastern states of Australia have led us to limit the movement of people from these areas to all but critical specialist workers. Limiting movement is focussed on reducing the health risk to our workforce and the community, and requires some additional administrative and logistics management,” he said.
“With the COVID environment in Australia remaining dynamic as states prepare for border openings and restrictions to be eased, we will continue to carefully monitor and review our processes.”
The company has also reduced its all-in sustaining costs from $US1.30 ($1.73) to $1.45 per pound to $1.25 to $1.40 per pound.
“Our financial position remains strong with $188 million cash balance at the end of the quarter and significant liquidity available,” Cole said.
“Our capital management framework provides a strong platform for allocating capital to the right projects and accessing finance, should it be required, to fund our considerable growth pipeline.”