PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Nickel miner Panoramic Resources has reported a 22% decline in nickel production and a 19% decline in copper production for the December quarter, compared with the previous three months.
Nickel-in-concentrate production at the Savannah operation, in Western Australia, declined from 1 342 t to 1 042 t during the December quarter, while contained copper declined from 855 t to 695 t.
Despite higher mined tonnage from the Savannah operation, both nickel and copper grades declined during the quarter, resulting in the lower production.
Unit cash costs for the quarter were also negatively impacted by the declining grades, with operating cash costs increasing from A$9.74/lb to A$12.76/lb.
Panoramic earlier this week downgraded its full year production expectations to between 5 200 t and 5 600 t of contained nickel, between 3 400 t and 3 700 t of contained copper, and between 280 t and 320 t of contained cobalt.
This compared with the previous guidance of between 7 000 t and 7 500 t of contained nickel, between 4 500 t and 5 000 t of contained copper, and between 400 t and 450 t of contained cobalt.
The decrease in production expectation was driven by lower production volumes in the second half of the financial year, driven by revised mining contract equipment mobilization timing and forecast personnel ramp-up, as well as further revised scheduling for mining activities at the Savannah remnant ores.
The ASX-listed miner is currently working to bring the Savannah North project on line, with first stoped ore planned for the March quarter of this year.