The MMG LXML Sepon operation achieved record quarterly and year-to-date copper cathode production in the second quarter 2012.
A total of 21,739 tonnes of copper cathode was produced, a 10 per cent increase upon the first quarter.
Sepon’s General Manager Rick Watsford said that the operation was now benefitting from the copper expansion project which increased nameplate capacity from 65,000 to 80,000 tonnes per annum.
“We are continuing to achieve excellent production results at Sepon following commissioning of the expanded copper plant.”
“Sepon’s performance in the second quarter was above pro-rata nameplate capacity, supported by an effective maintenance plan and improved recoveries,” he said.
Year-to-date copper production was also up 13% compared to the same period in 2011.
Annual production guidance for 2012 remains unchanged with 78,000–82,000 tonnes of copper cathode.
Sepon gold production was 41 per cent lower than the previous quarter due to low recoveries and the availability of the ore.
Annual gold production guidance remains unchanged at 60,000–65,000 ounces of gold as the ore continues to decrease in grade in the second half of this year. On current Reserves, the oxide ore will be exhausted in 2013’.
MMG is currently assessing the option to process primary gold ores once the oxide ore is exhausted.
In late 2011, a scoping study confirmed the potential to mine and process the primary gold, with a Mineral Resource of 45 million tonnes at 2.2 grams per tonne gold.
A pre-feasibility study is now underway to evaluate the optimal arrangement for processing the ore. Technical and engineering studies have also commenced.