Cyprus-based Atalaya Mining Plc’s total copper production in 2020 stood at 55,890mt, up by 23.34pc as compared to 44,950mt produced in 2019, achieving a record yearly production and meeting its 2020 production guidance, the company said in a statement.
The company said that the output was in line with its 2020 copper production guidance despite challenges and the mandatory halt in production in April as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 cases.
In 2020, the company mined 13.6mn mt of ore, up by 30.77pc from 104mn mt of ore mine in 2019, while its processed ore output rose by 40.95pc to 14.8mn mt as compared to 10.5mn mt processed in the previous year.
The company’s copper production in the last quarter of the year (Q4, 2020) stood at 14,332mt, up by 8.49pc from 13,211mt in the prior-year period but declined by 2.47pc as compared to 14,695mt in the previous quarter (Q3, 2020).
The increase in Q4 copper output was due to the higher ore milled and better metallurgical recoveries, the company said.
Despite COVID-19, the company continued mining operations normally with enough equipment at the site to maintain the higher production levels required for the full operation of the expanded plant.
In Q4, the company mined 33.5mn mt of ore, up by 52.17pc from 2.3mn mt in the preceding year, however, it fell by 7.89pc as compared to the prior quarter.
Atalaya Mining’s total processed ore output in Q4 grew by 34.48pc to 3.9mn mt as compared to 2.8mn mt in the prior-year period and decreased by 2.50pc from 4mn mt processed in Q3.
The company has maintained its annual copper production guidance for 2021 between 52,000mt to 54,000mt.
Copper grade mined in 2021 is expected to be slightly lower than in 2020 owing to pit sequencing and lower cut-off grades resulting from higher copper prices.
However, the optimization of the plant is expected to allow higher throughput to compensate for lower grades and maintain copper production.