Lundin reduces 2021 production guidance for Candelaria due to ore stability concerns
(Kitco News) - Lundin Mining today reported that 2021 production guidance for its Candelaria copper mining complex in Chile is reduced from 172,000-182,000 t of copper and 95,000-100,000 oz of gold to 150,000–155,000 t of copper and 85,000–90,000 oz of gold, on a 100% basis.
Lundin said that Candelaria has operated in line with forecasts to-date during the second quarter of 2021, however, the company will be adjusting the near-term mining sequence in Phase 10 of the Candelaria open pit for the second half of the year, which will impact the amount of direct ore mined and available for processing.
The open pit contains known fault zones and the company said it continuously monitors these areas in the normal course of operations. The company is implementing measures needed to manage the production risks in a localized area of Phase 10 that, while nominal in volume, has the potential to impact activities on lower levels and the main ramp. This additional caution while mining in the Phase 10 fault zone areas will remove ore from this phase of mining, impact productivity and result in less ore production from the area over the remainder of this year.
Average copper mill feed grades for Candelaria in the second half of 2021, incorporating a greater portion of feed to be sourced from low-grade stockpiled ores, is expected to average 0.64% copper, resulting in the expected feed grade for the year to average 0.59% copper. This compares to the 2018 Technical Report forecast grade of 0.65% copper in 2021.
The company added it is reviewing the impacts of the change in mine sequence on the life-of-mine plan and will update the outlook for future years, if needed, pending the outcome of that review. C1 cash cost guidance for Candelaria for 2021 should not be relied upon. The production outlook for the company's other operations, as well as C1 cash-cost guidance, will be provided in July with the release of the second quarter operating results.
Lundin Mining is a diversified Canadian base metals mining company with operations in Brazil, Chile, Portugal, Sweden and the United States of America, primarily producing copper, zinc, gold and nickel.