OZ Minerals has reported record annual revenue in 2021 as the company enjoyed booming copper prices in the final quarter of the year.
With a closing year-end cash balance of $215 million, OZ recorded $2.1 billion of revenue for 2021 – more than $700 million more than 2020.
At the end of the quarter, OZ was selling copper at a provisional price of $US9730 ($12,673) per tonne. This is well above one-year and three-year averages for the mineral, and comes amid an intensifying electrification movement which is driving demand for battery metals.
OZ’s group C1 costs were higher than the prior quarter as the company experienced lower gold production, which limited by-product credits as a result.
“Gold production decreased by 12 per cent with lower ore processed at Prominent Hill and at a lower grade compared to previous quarter,” OZ said in its quarterly report.
“Higher mining costs during the quarter were the result of higher proportion of mining costs being attributable to production with higher operating activity at Carrapateena compared to development activity.
“Processing costs were higher due to the periodic scheduled plant maintenance at Prominent Hill.”
OZ’s Prominent Hill mine in South Australia produced 29,777 ounces of gold for the second quarter of the 2022 financial year (FY22), down from 41,245 ounces in the prior three months.
The total copper output from the mine was 13,252 tonnes for the second quarter of FY22, down from 17,565 tonnes in quarter one. Both gold and copper production levels fell in line with the company’s 2021 guidance.
OZ’s Carrapateena Province in SA produced 16,874 tonnes of copper for the second quarter of FY22, achieving its annual guidance, while the operation produced 26,865 ounces of gold, exceeding the company’s annual guidance for the precious metal.
OZ chief executive officer Andrew Cole said the company had achieved a lot in the last 12 months, encompassing new developments and safety improvements.
“The adaptability of our workforce enabled us to achieve group copper guidance for a seventh consecutive year while we also delivered on group gold production, met our group cost guidance and reduced our TRIF (total recordable injury frequency) rate from 5.29 to 3.77,” he said.
“In its second year of operation, Carrapateena continued to optimise and debottleneck the processing facility with 4.6 million tonnes of ore processed during the year (4.25-million-tonnes-per-annum nameplate) while recording the highest production month on record in December, with 493,000 tonnes of ore treated.”