MMG Limited (MMG) today released its second quarter 2021 production report, producing 93,308 tonnes of copper and 58,137 tonnes of zinc in the three months to 30 June.
“Stable production was maintained across all sites while maintaining strict Covid-19 protocols,” said Geoffrey Gao, MMG CEO. “Effective health and safety measures saw largely uninterrupted output at MMG operations in Africa and Australia, with Las Bambas in Peru achieving around 90 per cent of normal workforce availability.
“Total copper production was 21 per cent higher than the first quarter with improved mining productivity and higher grades at Las Bambas and stable plant performance at Kinsevere,” he said.
Las Bambas produced 80,241 tonnes of copper in copper concentrate during the second quarter, an increase of 25 per cent on the prior quarter. This was a 37 per cent increase on the corresponding first quarter 2020 which was impacted by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Higher workforce availability and improved equipment productivity pushed mining volumes up 11 per cent from the previous quarter. Molybdenum production increased by 40 per cent to 1,570 tonnes.
In the face of Peru’s third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, MMG continued to deliver health and wellbeing support to regional communities while working collaboratively to maintain land and road access. Road and rail availability was high in the June quarter allowing Las Bambas to reduce finished stock at the mine site to near normal levels.
MMG had anticipated regulatory approval for the development of the Chalcobamba pit following submission of the original application in February 2019. However, a combination of lengthy community consultation and administrative delays – as well as complications associated with the 2021 national elections – has delayed approvals.
Kinsevere produced 12,632 tonnes of copper cathode in line with the first quarter of 2021, due to the planned lower grade feed to the mill from existing ore stockpiles and third parties. Processing plant performance was strong, with throughput up 13 per cent on the first quarter.
“Total zinc production was down slightly on the prior quarter due to issues with paste-fill delivery at Dugald River and scheduled maintenance,” said Geoffrey Gao. As a result, Dugald River produced 40,027 tonnes of zinc for the second quarter, 18 per cent below the first quarter.
Rosebery produced 18,110 tonnes of zinc for the quarter. On a zinc equivalent basis, total production was around 43,641 tonnes, six per cent above the first quarter, mainly due to higher mill throughput and an increased contribution from by-products.
“Looking ahead, our focus is the delivery of stable production and near-term growth opportunities including the Las Bambas development plan and the next phase of life for Kinsevere,” added Geoffrey Gao.
As a result of the ongoing uncertainty around Chalcobamba approvals, 2021 copper production at Las Bambas is now expected to be at the low end of the previous guidance range of 310,000 to 330,000 tonnes. Production guidance is maintained for all other sites. C1 cost guidance is reduced at Rosebery and maintained at all other sites with an ongoing focus on cost control measures.
Please download a full copy of the MMG 2021 Second Quarter Production Report here.