Copper production at the Proyecto Riotinto mine has exceeded Atalaya Mining’s expectations, prompting the Aim- and TSX-listed miner to increase its full-year guidance by 2 000 t.
Proyecto Riotinto, in southwest Spain, delivered its highest-ever copper production of 11 055 t in the third quarter of 2018, compared with 10 679 t in the comparable period of 2017 and 10 446 t in the second quarter of this year.
This is the second consecutive quarter that copper production exceeded 10 000 t.
In terms of ore milled, 2.5-million tonnes were processed in the quarter, while the copper head grade slightly exceeded planned levels.
Atalaya attributed the increase in copper production to the higher-than-budgeted head grade, ore milled and better metallurgical recoveries, which averaged 88.40% in the three months.
The new full-year guidance is 39 000 t to 41 000 t, compared with a previous target of 37 000 t to 40 000 t.
Reporting on the expansion of Riotinto to 15-million-tonnes-a-year, Atalaya said that the project was progressing according to schedule, with overall completion at the end of September estimated to be 65%.
The expansion is scheduled for mechanical completion at the end of the second quarter next year.