PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Copper and gold miner Aeris Resources has reported a 260% increase in net profits for the first half of 2021, on the back of a 99% increase in revenues.
Revenue for the six months to December reached A$214.5-million, up from the A$108-million in the previous corresponding period, with net profits after tax increasing to A$45.8-million, from a loss of A$28.6-million in the same period last year.
“Since the start of July 2020, we have completed the acquisition of Cracow, discovered the Constellation deposit, and significantly improved our balance sheet,” said executive chairperson Andrew Labuschagne.
“The fundamentals for copper are looking extremely attractive and as we have seen over the past six months, gold is a good complementary commodity to also be producing. I am very excited about the prospects for Aeris in the coming years,” he added.
Cracow produced 38 248 oz of gold during the interim period, ahead of plan, with mining activities focused on improving development and backfilling rates, and testing the limits of the mining capacity.
The Tritton copper operation produced 11 889 t of copper during the period under review, a decrease of 397 t compared with the previous corresponding period, with the lower production resulting from the Tritton underground mine, which was impacted by a stope blasting failure and consequent broken stock shortages late in the half year, coupled with backfill pipeline blockages.
The issues at Tritton were partially offset by increased ore production at the Murrawonbie underground mine.
“Reflecting on 2020, it really was a sliding door year for Aeris. We started the year along with everyone in the Macquarie River basin, with the real prospect of running out of water as the Burrendong dam was at some 1% capacity. Substantial rains came in February and March, which provided immediate relief but then Covid-19 fell upon the world and created another period of uncertainty.
“We were fortunate that the Tritton copper operation was not directly impacted during the various Covid shutdowns and we continued to operate during the year,” said Labuschagne.
He noted that the Covid lockdown during the first half of the year meant that the sales process for the Cracow gold mine was suspended, however, the company was able to re-engage with seller Evolution Mining and completed the transaction in July of last year.
“Fast forward to 2021 and Tritton and Cracow are both producing positive operating cashflows, providing a platform on which we can now focus on life extension projects at both operations.”
Gold production at Cracow for the full 2021 financial year is expected to reach between 70 000 oz and 75 000 oz, while copper production at Tritton is targeted at between 23 500 t and 24 500 t.