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Copper Mountains provides production update

Published by
Global Mining Review,


Copper Mountain Mining has announced that the Copper Mountain Mine exceeded 2020 production guidance and achieved record quarterly production for copper, gold and silver in 4Q20. All results are reported on a 100% basis.

2020 production highlights

  • 2020 production of 77.6 million lbs of copper exceeded guidance of 70 – 75 million lbs.
  • 4Q20 production of 23.1 million lbs of copper achieved record quarterly production.
  • 2020 gold production was 29 227 oz with record quarterly production of 8959 oz in 4Q20.
  • 2020 silver production was 392 494 oz with record quarterly production of 144 934 oz in 4Q20.

2021 production and cost guidance highlights

  • 2021 production expected to increase up to a range of 85 – 95 million lbs of copper.
  • All-in cost (AIC) in 2021 expected to be in the range of US$1.80 – US$2/lb.

“Our operating team executed on our operating plan beating our production guidance for this year,” commented Gil Clausen, Copper Mountain’s President and CEO. “We finished the year strong with record production in the fourth quarter as a result of higher grades, which we expect to continue in 2021. We are forecasting production to increase by up to 22% to 85 – 95 million lbs of copper in 2021 with higher grades and increased recovery and throughput post commissioning of the 45 000 tpd mill expansion in 3Q21. Further, we are maintaining a low-cost profile in 2021 with all-in cost expected to be between US$1.80 – US$2/lb, which is in line with 2020 expectations.”

Clausen added: “We are continuing to build up a healthy cash position while investing in our low risk, high return growth projects at the Copper Mountain Mine. Following the completion of the mill expansion to 45 000 tpd this year, we will focus on a further mill expansion to 65 000 tpd.”

4Q20 and 2020 production results

Copper production for 4Q20 increased 22% from 3Q20 and 23% when compared to 4Q19. Production during the quarter was 23.1 million lbs of copper, 8959 oz of gold and 144 934 oz of silver for a total production of 28.7 million copper equivalent lbs. Increased copper production was a result of higher copper grade. Grade is expected to remain strong in 2021.

In 2020, the Copper Mountain Mine produced 77.6 million lbs of copper, exceeding guidance of 70 – 75 million lbs. Gold production was 29 227 oz and silver production was 392 494 ounces. Copper equivalent production was 98.2 million copper equivalent lbs.

2021 guidance

Production

Based on the updated life of mine production plan announced on 30 November 2020, the company expects 2021 production to be 85 – 95 million lbs of copper as a result of higher grades and improved recoveries.

Copper Mountain Mine’s 45 000 tpd mill expansion project is expected to be complete with commissioning of the third ball mill by the end of 3Q21. The 45 000 tpd mill expansion will increase throughput and improve copper recovery, resulting in higher production.

Gold production is expected to be 25 000 – 35 000 oz and silver production is expected to be 500 000 – 550 000 ounces in 2021.

Costs

The company expects AIC to remain low in 2021, estimating AIC to be between US$1.80 – US$2/lb as a result of higher production and improved grade.

AIC includes sustaining capital, lease payments and applicable administration, in addition to deferred stripping and low-grade stockpile inventory expense. Sustaining capital in 2021 is expected to be approximately US$9 million and deferred stripping is expected to be approximately US$7 million.

Total growth or expansionary capital in 2021 is expected to be approximately US$33 million. The majority of the capital to be spent in 2021 is for the installation of the third ball mill for the 45 000 tpd mill expansion project at the Copper Mountain Mine. Capitalised exploration for 2021 is expected to be approximately US$3 – US$4 million, with the focus on continued reserve expansion at the Copper Mountain Mine.

Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/finance-business/08012021/copper-mountains-provides-production-update/

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