Copper Mountain Mining Corporation revised its mining plan through 2021 because of less-than-optimal market conditions spurred by the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

 

The company’s previous copper equivalent production has been reduced to 86-94mn lb (39,009-42,638mt) from its previous guidance of 100-113mn lb. The miner’s copper production guidance has also been reduced to 70-75mn lb from 86-96mn lb.

 

Copper Mountain will reduce its mining rate by 25pc to 120,000-160,000mt a day for the remainder of 2020, and will instead spend the rest of the year mining lower cost areas in the central and north phases of the main pit.

 

Short-term copper prices have fallen as a consequence of fears over the spread of the COVID-19 virus, prompting Copper Mountain to recalibrate its guidance in order to maintain its cash flow margins at the mine and continue funding the project’s mill expansion. High-grade ore initially planned for mining this year has been deferred to 2021, when the company expects copper prices to rebound. 

 

By deferring capital expenditure for installing Ball Mill No. 3, the company will save $22mn this year, Copper Mountains said in a statement on Tuesday.

 

It is also installing direct flotation reactors—which are still scheduled for June 2020, and for which the remaining capital requirement is $2.3mn—to enhance efficiency and capacity at the current cleaner circuit, which will bring copper concentrate grade from 25pc to 28pc and reduce concentrate transportation, smelting, and refining costs. 

 

Copper Mountain’s mill expansion will increase plant capacity to 45,000mt a day from 40,000mt.

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