Toronto-headquartered Lundin Mining has improved its guidance for 2019, tightening the lower end of the production range for copper and zinc, as well as lowering the operating cost guidance for the Chapada and Neves-Corvo mines.
The revised copper guidance for the year is a range of 227 000 t to 245 000 t, raising the bottom-end from 224 000 oz, reflecting a slight improvement in the forecast for the Eagle mine, in the US, and higher guidance for the Neves-Corvo mine in Portugal.
The improved outlook at Neves-Corvo also tightened the bottom range of the company’s zinc forecast to 149 000 t, from 147 000 t, with the top-end remaining unchanged at 157 000 t.
The Neves-Corvo C1 cash cost guidance was lowered from $1.70/lb to $1.60/lb, while the recently-acquired Chapada mine, in Brazil, has a cash cost guidance of $0.80/lb, from the previously guided $1.10/lb.
Lundin maintained its production and cost guidance for the Candelaria mine, in Chile, where civil unrest has disrupted many mining operations. The group said that the widespread protests, which started in Santiago and have now spread to other regions including Atacama, had not impacted on its operations.
“Candelaria operations continue with a focus on maintaining the safety and security of our employees, as well as the environment and our facilities. To date, there has been no material impact on operations. However, the situation continues to evolve and further negative developments could materially impact the operations of Candelaria,” it cautioned.
The Candelaria mine improved its production to 40 698 t of copper, as well as about 24 000 oz of gold and 355 000 oz of silver in concentrate during the third quarter, mainly owing to improved copper head grades.
The Chapada mine, which Lundin bought in July, produced 17 645 t of copper, about 34 000 oz of gold and 81 000 oz of silver at a better-than-expected copper cash cost of $0.35/lb during the period.
The Eagle mine produced 3 232 t of nickel and 3 042 t of copper, which was in line with expectations.
Neves-Corvo produced 12 055 t of copper and 18 232 t of zinc. Lundin reported that the Zinc Expansion Project had advanced on schedule and budget for production to start up in 2020.
At Zinkgruvan, in Sweden, Lundin produced 16 796 t of zinc, which was less than the prior-year comparable quarter and second quarter of 2019, owing to ore availability and lower mill throughput. However, the operation remained on track to meet full-year guidance. Lead production of 6 291 t was better than both the prior year comparable period and the previous quarter owing to improved grades and recoveries.