Atalaya Mining Plc (AIM:ATYM, TSX:AYM), is pleased to announce its operational update for the third quarter of 2019.
|Q3||Q2||Year-to-date||Updated full year|
|Ore mined||(M tonnes)||2.7||2.8||2.8||8.0||11.4|
|Waste mined||(M tonnes)||4.4||3.2||3.6||11.8||17.8|
|Ore milled||(M tonnes)||2.6||2.5||2.6||7.6||10.6|
|Cu recovery||(%)||87.38||88.40||88.72||88.77||85 – 87|
|Cu production||(tonnes)||10,568||11,055||10,888||31,675||44,000 – 45,000|
Q3 2019 copper production was 10,568 tonnes, in line with expectations but slightly lower than Q2 2019 due to lower recovery levels and copper head grade. An average copper head grade of 0.47% and a recovery rate of 87.38% for the 2.6 Mt of ore processed have resulted in copper production being 2.9% lower than Q2 2019.
On 19 August 2019, the Company reached full mechanical completion of its 15Mtpa expansion (“Expansion Project”) and commenced ramping up. As explained in the mechanical completion announcement of 19 August 2019, the increase in throughput capacity and full completion relied on additional electricity supply to be provided by power supplier, Endesa. While Endesa has begun the necessary work to provide the additional electricity supply, it has not yet completed it and consequently the ramp-up of the Expansion Project is slightly delayed. As a result, the Company has reviewed its existing production guidance and now expects ore processed in 2019 to be 10.6Mt with copper produced expected to be in the range of 44,000 to 45,000 tonnes compared to the 45,000 to 46,500 tonnes previously reported. All other key production metrics remain as previously guided. The Company remains confident that the Expansion Project will reach nameplate capacity by the end of 2019 with production in 2020 expected to be in the range of 55,000 to 58,000 tonnes.
Mining operations are progressing according to plan and up from previous quarters. On a combined basis, ore and waste increased to 2.6 million m3 in Q3 2019 versus 2.3 million m3 in Q2 2019.
On-site concentrate inventories at the end of the quarter were approximately 2,186 tonnes. All concentrate in stock at the beginning of the quarter and produced during the quarter was delivered to the port at Huelva.
The realised copper price during Q3 2019 was lower than the previous quarter, with an average realised price per pound of copper payable, including the QPs closed in the period, of $2.76/lb compared with $2.81/lb in Q2 2019. The average copper spot price during the quarter was $2.61/lb. The realised price during the quarter excluding QPs, was approximately $2.74/lb, well above the spot price but we anticipate lower realised prices in coming months.
Cash operating costs and AISC for Q3 2019 are expected to be below budget. Further details on costs will be provided with the Q3 Financial Statements to be reported in November 2019.
Exploration and infill drilling continue to progress with two rigs at Filón Sur-Cerro Colorado. One deep hole is being drilled in Cerro Colorado in order to explore a rich Cu stockwork zone that occurs under the Salomon zone. The RC drilling continues the infill drilling programme in order to better define the occurrence of penalty elements in the mining pit. Expansion to 15Mtpa at Proyecto Riotinto The Expansion Project has completed the cold mechanical commissioning of all sections and the last new installation (Sag Mill and auxiliary mills installation) has now begun processing ore. The delay in the availability of electrical energy is currently being addressed by the power provider and the Company continues to plan for an expanded throughput rate of 15Mtpa by the end of 2019. To achieve full commissioning, three stages of production ramp-up are expected – the first in October reaching 65% of 15Mtpa, a second in November up to 85% and one final stage during December up to 100%. The new primary crusher has been steadily working during the quarter with waste material for testing and commissioning. The new flotation and concentrate handling areas are finished and running as expected.
During the quarter, the Company continued addressing additional information requests from administrative bodies. Atalaya addressed comments from Aguas de Galicia, Natural Heritage and the General Directorate of Mines.
Alberto Lavandeira, CEO, commented:
“The Expansion Project is ramping up towards full production and, despite delays to the increased electricity supply, the Company expects the new plant to achieve its full 15Mtpa capacity by December 2019. Despite a slight reduction in production this quarter, we remain confident that our guidance levels for the remainder of the year will be met.”
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) no 596/2014.
|Newgate Communications||Elisabeth Cowell / Adam Lloyd / Tom Carnegie||+ 44 20 3757 6880|
|4C Communications||Carina Corbett||+44 20 3170 7973|
|Canaccord Genuity (NOMAD and Joint Broker)||Henry Fitzgerald-O’Connor / James Asensio||+44 20 7523 8000|
|BMO Capital Markets (Joint Broker)||Jeffrey Couch / Tom Rider / Michael Rechsteiner / Neil Elliot||+44 20 7236 1010|
|Peel Hunt LLP (Joint Broker)||Ross Allister / David McKeown||+44 20 7418 8900|
About Atalaya Mining Plc
Atalaya is an AIM and TSX-listed mining and development group which produces copper concentrates and silver by-product at its wholly owned Proyecto Riotinto site in southwest Spain. In addition, the Group has a phased, earn-in agreement for up to 80% ownership of Proyecto Touro, a brownfield copper project in the northwest of Spain which is currently in the permitting stage. For further information, visit www.atalayamining.com