Kaz Minerals Copper Production Rises In First Quarter

KAZ Minerals Raises Guidance As Aktogay And Bozshakol Perform

LONDON (Alliance News) – Shares in KAZ Minerals PLC rose Thursday as the Kazakhstan-based miner reported increased copper production in the first quarter and said its on track to meet all its 2017 production guidance.

FTSE 250-listed KAZ said its copper production increased by 16% year-on-year to 52,000 tonnes in the quarter to March 31, compared to 45,000 tonnes in the last quarter of 2016. Production was boosted by the ramp-up of new mines, said KAZ.

Shares in KAZ Minerals were up 2.9% at 496.50 pence Thursday, the best performer in the FTSE 250.

Production at the Bozshakol copper mine increased to 23,000 tonnes from 21,000 tonnes the prior quarter. KAZ said maintenance at the sulphide plant at the mine was completed in January, leading to higher throughput in March. Additionally the clay plant at the mine is ramping up in line with expectations and processed 495,000 tonnes of ore in the quarter.

At the Aktogay mine, the sulphide concentrator commenced output in mid-February, with copper production reaching 7,000 tonnes in the quarter.

KAZ also noted that its 2017 project expenditure guidance for the Aktogay mine has reduced to less than USD200.0 million from USD265.0 million, due commissioning efficiencies and operating synergies with Bozshakol.

Between the East Region and Bozymchak operations, copper production totalled 17,000 tonnes in the quarter, down slightly from 18,000 tonnes the prior quarter. KAZ said by-product output at the sites is on-track to meet full-year guidance.

“I am pleased to report continued progress in the ramp up of our new mines, including an excellent first quarter of production from sulphide operations at Aktogay. The Aktogay concentrator commenced output in mid-February and has produced 7 kt of copper. KAZ Minerals is delivering industry-leading production growth as promised to the market and was amongst the lowest cost copper producers globally in 2016,” said Oleg Novachuk, chief executive of KAZ Minerals.

By Adam Clark; adamclark@alliancenews.com

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