KAZ Minerals reduces copper production

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 30

By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

Kazakhstan's KAZ Minerals company produced 36,700 metric tons of copper cathode for the first six months of 2015 compared to 41,100 metric tons in the same period of 2014, the company said July 30.

"The pace of production will allow reaching 80,000-85,000 metric tons planned by the company by the end of the year," a statement said.

The copper concentrate production amounted to 43,300 metric tons in the first half of 2015 compared to 44,400 metric tons in the first half of 2014.

Some 2.23 million metric tons of ore were extracted in the mines of East Kazakhstan and Bozymchak pit mine during the reporting period (this figure amounted to 2.25 million metric tons in the same period in 2014), the average copper grade was 2.24 percent.

The company demonstrated high indices of zinc and silver production as by-products in the first six months of the year. Some 59,900 metric tons of zinc in concentrate were produced (zinc concentrate production was 61,700 metric tons in the first half of 2014).

The zinc content of the Artemyevsky pit mine turned out to be more than expected. In the reporting period stockpiled ore with a high content of zinc was processed at the Nikolayevsky concentrating mill.

Some 1.66 million ounces of silver granules were produced in the reporting period (in the first six months of 2014, the silver granules production stood at 1.67 million ounces).

Such a strong silver granule output, as KAZ Minerals said, benefited from higher than expected silver grades at Artemyevsky and Irtyshsky mines, improved recovery rates and a release of work in progress.

The first half-year's results on the zinc in concentrate and silver allow the KAZ Minerals to anticipate reaching the upper range of the annual plan, that is, 90,000-95,000 metric tons, and 2.2 million - 2.5 million ounces, respectively.

Gold bar output in the first half-year was 16,100 ounces (17,700 ounces in the same period of 2014).

In just six months, the KAZ Minerals produced 20,000 ounces of gold in concentrate, but the end product will be produced out of the accumulated concentrate in the second half-year.

The expected gold output rate of the KAZ Minerals was revised and stands at 34,000-38,000 ounces (instead of the 42,000-47,000 ounces declared in early 2015).

KAZ Minerals also said that pre-production mining operations at Bozshakol were commenced in late May in advance of sulphide ore extraction in the third quarter. Ore extraction at Aktogay was commenced in Q2 2015, with 251,000 metric tons of oxide ore containing 800 metric tons of copper mined ahead of irrigation in H2 2015.

KAZ Minerals PLC ("KAZ Minerals" or "the Group") is a high growth copper company focused on large scale, low cost, open pit mining in Kazakhstan. It is a leading copper producer in Kazakhstan with five operating mines and four concentrators. In 2014, total copper cathode output from continuing operations was 84,000 metric tons. The Group's continuing operations also produced 121,000 metric tons of zinc in concentrate, 3.4 million ounces of silver and 35,000 ounces of gold in 2014.

The Group has two major copper projects under construction, Bozshakol and Aktogay, and a third, Koksay, at scoping stage.

Edited by CN

Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

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