Aim-listed Rambler Metals and Mining has produced 3 769 t of saleable copper for the full year ended December 31, 2020, despite scaling back operations to 50% capacity in March.
In response to the collapse of the copper price in March last year, Rambler scaled back operations and cut production to 50% of capacity to meet its forward sales commitment.
For the full year, the Nugget Pond copper and gold milling facility, in Newfoundland, achieved throughput of 263 230 t of ore, at feed grades of 1.55%. Recoveries of copper metal to concentrate were 95.6% for the year.
Rambler advises that assays of gold grades and consequent gold and silver recoveries, as well as sealable gold and silver, have been delayed since the second quarter of 2020. The company, however, expects these results by the end of March this year.
Based on the settlement invoices from the three shipments completed in 2020, Rambler shipped 2 949 oz of accountable gold and 17 373 oz of accountable silver.
Rambler president and CEO Toby Bradbury comments that 2020 was a challenging year for the company, exacerbated by the impacts of the global Covid-19 pandemic and the follow-on effect that had on commodities prices.
The copper market is currently strong, which the company says will support its operating margins.
Improvement in market conditions from the third quarter enabled Rambler to close a financing on December 8, which has strengthened its balance sheet and provided a platform from which to deliver the true potential of the Ming mine. The closing cash position at December 31, was $6.2-million.
“Our focus now is to re-establish sustainable production of higher-grade ore to fully utilise the existing mill capacity while embarking on further exploration and project evaluation of expansion opportunities,” says Bradbury.
Rambler will this year increase rates of higher-grade production to meet full mill capacity of 1 350 t/d to process about 115 000 t of run-of-mine ore at a grade of 2% by year-end; this was previously achieved in the third quarter of 2019.
The company has set its 2021 production guidance at between 6 600 t and 7 400 t of saleable copper and between 1 700 oz and 2 200 oz of gold.
Before Rambler can increase its production, it needs to undertake some dewatering, catch-up maintenance and remedial work on its 100%-owned Ming mine, which is located on the Baie Verte peninsula.