KAZ Minerals Delivers Large Lift To Copper Output, Beats By-Product Guidance

Kazakhstan: KAZ Minerals approves of Aktogay GOK expansion

Kazakhstan copper miner KAZ Minerals PLC on Thursday said copper cathode production was within its guidance range in 2016 and significantly higher than the year before, whilst production of by-products exceeded targets.

KAZ shares were up 1.6% to 456.50 pence per share on Thursday.

Production of copper cathode equivalent in 2016 rose 73% year-on-year to 140,300 tonnes from 81,100 tonnes, right in the middle of its full year guidance range of 135,000 to 145,000 tonnes. New projects Bozshakol and Aktogay contributed 63,000 tonnes of new copper cathode equivalent production in the year.

By-product production also fared well. Zinc in concentrate output was lower at 75,400 tonnes from 94,300 tonnes, but gold bar equivalent production soared to 119,700 ounces from just 34,600 ounces. Silver bar equivalent production dipped slightly to 3.1 million ounces.

“I am pleased that we have achieved our copper and by-product guidance for 2016, a 73% increase in copper output on the prior year, as we successfully ramped up Bozshakol and the Aktogay oxide plant,” said Chief Executive Oleg Novachuk.

“Operating costs at Bozshakol have temporarily benefited from lower than anticipated maintenance requirements during the ramp up period, and full year gross cash costs are expected to be in the region of 20% below the bottom of the previously guided range of 140 cents to 160 cents per pound. Our growth will continue in 2017 as Bozshakol reaches capacity and we commence production from sulphide ore at Aktogay,” he added.