Red Chris mine produced 88.3mn lbs of copper in 2020, up by 22.9pc from 71.9mn produced in 2019, according to Imperial Metals’ operational updates. In December quarter (Q4) production fell to 17.2mn lbs, down by 23pc from the prior quarter.
Production has dipped in Q4 from the prior quarter owing to lower throughput rates with just 2.185mn mt milled. In September quarter, 2.77mn mt was milled. Another factor was the continued unseasonal rainfall followed by cold weather, which caused material handling problems.
In 2020, overall copper production is higher, driven by higher grades with copper grades up 28pc from 2019 levels. Red Chris is undergoing several additional improvements including new fleet management system, projects relating to improvement of throughput and recovery in plant processing among others.
Red Chris is a JV between Canada-based Imperial Metals (30pc) and Australia-based Newcrest Mining (70pc). Newcrest’s copper production guidance for Red Chris mine is between 55.1 – 66.1mn lbs for FY2020-21 (July 2020-June 2021, Australian financial year).