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Kazakh miner KAZ Minerals boosts copper production in first quarter, sales up as China logistics constraints ease

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(Kitco News) - KAZ Minerals, the largest copper producer in Kazakhstan, reported today that the company produced 90 kt of copper in Q1 2022, which grew by 20% over Q4 2021(75 kt) benefiting from an accelerated ramp-up of the Aktogay expansion.

The company said that Aktogay produced 51 kt of copper, a 40% increase compared with the 36 kt produced in Q4 2021, adding that its gold production of 43 koz increased by 5% (Q4 2021: 41 koz) due to higher output at Bozshakol and Bozymchak.

The company added that its copper sales of 91 kt were slightly above production, as the logistics constraints experienced in Q4 2021 on shipments to China eased.

"Transit times on the Kazakhstan rail network have improved significantly and the border crossing to China is operating well. The Group expects to sell its finished goods inventories, brought forward from the prior year, by the end of 2022," the company said in a statement.

KAZ Minerals noted that improvements in transit times also resulted in a significant increase in sales of all of the Group's by-product metals, with sales increasing compared with the previous quarter by 31% for gold, 39% for silver and 55% for zinc in concentrate.

CEO Andrew Southam commented, "In the first quarter of 2022 KAZ Minerals has delivered copper production growth of 20%, which is an outstanding achievement. The Group is benefiting from an accelerated ramp-up of the second sulphide concentrator at Aktogay and continued strong performance at the Group's other operations. KAZ Minerals is on track to achieve its full year targets for all metals."

KAZ Minerals is the largest copper producer in Kazakhstan. The company operates three open pit mines, three underground mines and six concentrators, and develops new projects in Kazakhstan and Russia.

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