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MMG reports 12% copper production decline in 2021 due to issues at Las Bambas and Kinsevere

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(Kitco News) - MMG reported today that its total copper production of 339,682 tonnes for the full year 2021 was 12% below 2020 due to lower ore grades and community roadblocks at Las Bambas as well as lower ore grades at Kinsevere as the site prepares to transition to the mining and processing of the sulphide ore body.

The company's total zinc production of 249,767 tonnes in the full year 2021 was 2% above 2020, due to record production at Dugald River and consistent mining and plant performance at Rosebery.

Las Bambas' annual copper production in 2021 was 290,097 tonnes, 7% lower than 2020 due to lower average grades and community roadblocks that led to a complete shutdown of the mine in December for around two weeks.

"Roadblocks were removed after a joint meeting of community members, the Government and Las Bambas on 30 December 2021. The mine has since returned to full capacity in January 2022," the company said in a statement.

Annual copper production at Kinsevere was 48,017 tonnes, 33% lower than 2020 due to the suspension of mining activity. However, the company said that processing plant performance remained "very strong" with an increased average recovery rate for the year.

"The final quarter of 2021 presented several challenges which impacted our copper production, most notably the extended community blockade at Las Bambas and lower grades at Kinsevere. Zinc production was 2% higher than 2020 with continuing strong production at both Australian assets," said interim CEO Liangang Li.

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He added that the company is taking a proactive approach to managing community relations in Peru and remains committed to engaging in dialogue with a number of communities along the logistics corridor.

"Our focus remains on pursuing constructive and peaceful dialogue with local communities together with the Government of Peru. Finding enduring solutions to these challenges will ensure that Las Bambas can maintain its significant contribution to the local region and the Peruvian economy," he said.

He also noted that the company's focus in 2022 remains on growing its existing portfolio with Las Bambas and Kinsevere remaining the primary focus.

"As de-carbonization efforts continue to intensify the demand for our products will continue to rise and we are committed to driving organic growth opportunities across our portfolio. Our primary targets remain the Chalcobamba development in Peru and the Kinsevere Expansion Project, with outcomes on both expected this year," he said.

Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, MMG is a mid-tier, global producer of base metals including copper and zinc. The company is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx: 1208) and operates and develops copper, zinc and other base metals products across Australia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Peru. The major shareholder of the company is China Minmetals.

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