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MMG delivers record third quarter production

MMG Limited (MMG) (1208.HK) today released its third quarter 2015 production results, reporting solid progress at Las Bambas and record quarterly copper production.

The Las Bambas project continued to plan during the quarter, with overall mechanical construction now largely complete.

MMG CEO Andrew Michelmore said the focus at Las Bambas had moved to pre-commissioning, commissioning and the closeout of remaining construction activity.

“Testing of equipment using low grade ore is underway and our team will remain focused on project commissioning throughout 2015,” Mr Michelmore said.

“We are pleased with progress at Las Bambas, and production of concentrate remains on track for the first quarter of 2016.

“While we have some challenges ahead yet, the Las Bambas team is to be congratulated for their commitment to deliver this flagship project on schedule and within budget,” he said.

MMG’s existing operations also continued to deliver during the quarter, with the company achieving a new total quarterly copper production record.

Driven by new quarterly and year-to-date production records at Sepon and Kinsevere, MMG produced a total of 52,464 tonnes of copper during the third quarter – 8% higher than the previous record period.

Mr Michelmore said that this performance was the result of the company’s strategy of leveraging value from its operations.

“Sepon produced 24,062 tonnes of copper cathode during the third quarter – 3% higher than the previous quarter and 11% higher than the same period 2014. This again demonstrates the value of plant and operational improvements driving asset utilisation higher as Sepon processes more difficult ‘Type II’ ores,” he said.

“Kinsevere also continues to deliver, producing 20,680 tonnes during the quarter to sustain annualised production at more than 130% of nameplate plant capacity.

“As a result of our third quarter performance, we have further increased our copper production guidance for Kinsevere for 2015 by 3,000 tonnes to 73,000–78,000 tonnes,” he said.

MMG also produced a total of 130,157 tonnes of zinc in zinc concentrate during the third quarter, with final ore being extracted from the Century open-pit during August.

Mr Michelmore said the completion of mining at Century marked the end of an era for MMG, and the global zinc industry.

“Throughout its life, Century has been one of the largest zinc mines in the world, accounting for approximately 4% of total global supply at its peak. Century has made a significant contribution to MMG and the region over 16 years of operation and I extend my gratitude to all involved over the life of the mine,” he said.

“The completion of Century production in 2015 will further impact shrinking global zinc supply at a time of increasing global demand. This supports our decision to invest in one of the world’s largest high-grade undeveloped zinc deposits at Dugald River,” he said.

The Dugald River revised project plan was approved by the Board in July 2015 and the project is now in development.

Early works continue on the project with pre-production mine development being carried out at site.

Approximately 296,600 tonnes of Dugald River ore has been stockpiled at Century for processing following the completion of Century production.  It is anticipated that this processing will take approximately four to six weeks to process.

MMG expects to produce 174,000-189,000 tonnes of copper, up 3,000 tonnes on previous guidance and 440,000 – 510,000 tonnes of zinc in 2015.

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