MMG Limited (MMG) (1208.HK) today released its first quarter production results reporting stable copper production and further progress on major projects.
Outstanding production at Kinsevere of 20,042 tonnes of copper cathode – 6% higher than its record previous quarter - helped MMG to deliver 41,358 tonnes of copper cathode during the quarter.
MMG CEO Andrew Michelmore said Kinsevere’s production performance did not take away from a tragic incident that occurred at the operation during March.
"Tragically, a contracted security guard died as a result of a snake bite sustained while on duty at Kinsevere on 21 March.
"The thoughts of all at MMG remain with the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased and we are continuing to work with the guard’s employer regarding support to his family."
MMG’s total copper cathode of 41,358 tonnes for the quarter was 4% less than the fourth quarter 2014. Kinsevere’s production record partially offset the impact of lower production at Sepon, which was impacted by unscheduled maintenance of the electrowinning crane.
Quarterly copper in copper concentrate production of 8,132 tonnes was 12% higher than the previous quarter as optimisation of the annual production schedule led to a focus on copper production at Golden Grove.
Total zinc in zinc concentrate production of 128,479 tonnes was 34% lower than the previous quarter. Century produced 104,852 tonnes of the total, processing lower grades as it progresses through the final stages of its mine plan.
Mining from the Century open-pit is expected to be completed during the second quarter, with final production from the Century open-pit expected to occur during the third quarter.
MMG also announced today that existing stockpiles of ore built up during its 2014 trial stoping program at Dugald River would be transported to Century for processing following the completion of Century open-pit production. Dugald River produced approximately 450,000 tonnes of ore with an average grade of 13.3% zinc during the 2014 trial stoping program.
Annual copper production guidance has been reviewed and MMG expects to produce 168,000 – 183,000 tonnes of copper in 2015. Annual guidance of 440,000 – 510,000 tonnes of zinc is unchanged.
An updated development program for Dugald River is now under consideration following the completion of the 2014 trial stoping program, value engineering and associated project studies.
The integrated revised development plan for Dugald River is likely to include lower annual throughput over a longer mine life with a simplified logistics chain.
Mr Michelmore said that "we are continuing to review all available options with our objective of maximising long-term shareholder value. We expect to make a decision regarding the revised project during the third quarter of this year."
Construction of the Las Bambas copper project continued to plan in the first quarter, with the focus remaining on the construction of the primary crusher, overland conveyor, concentrate processing plant, concentrate logistics and other key infrastructure. As at 31 March 2015, the overall project was 90% complete.
Mr Michelmore said, “We continue to be pleased with progress at Las Bambas with construction on plan and 90% of the project now complete.
"We also achieved an important milestone during the quarter, with the commencement of pre-stripping activities in the Ferrobamba pit. More than seven million tonnes of material were moved at Las Bambas during the first quarter.
"Importantly, preparations for project commissioning and ramp-up are also now well underway."
Community relocation continued during the quarter and approximately 95% of families have now been successfully relocated to the new town. The relocation of the remaining community is not expected to impact project construction activities.
Production report for the three months ended 31 March 2015
Download MMG Limited's 1Q 2015 production results.
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