Chinese Zinc Miner Moves Ahead With Copper Production

Chinese-operated MMG is moving towards copper production as its Las Bambas Mine in Peur begins commercial operation.

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On Thursday (July 28), MMG Limited (HKG:1208), a Chinese-owned base metals company, announced that its Las Bambas mine in Peru had started operating commercially, which will move copper ahead of zinc in its production, at least for now.

MMG’s press release stated that the mine produced 84,141 tonnes of copper in copper concentrate in the second quarter of 2016, which puts the mine’s half-year output to 118,612 tonnes of copper concentrate.

The company’s zinc production fell by 82 percent after its Century zinc mine closed in August of 2015 and low production from its Golden Grove and Rosebery mines. For the second quarter of 2016, MMG produced a total of 28,549 tonnes of zinc, a decrease of 82 percent from the year before. Copper, on the other hand, reached 90,329 tonnes, which was a significant increase of 1,310 percent.

However, all hope isn’t lost for the company’s zinc outlook, especially with the closure of handful of zinc mines in recent years. The company maintains its statement that in addition to production of 415,000-477,000 tones of copper, it plans to produce 120,000-135,000 tonnes of zinc in 2016 as well.

By 2018, MMG’s Dugald River project is expected to add an estimated 170,000 tonnes of zinc per annum.

“Following the end of processing at our own Century mine in Queensland earlier this year, Dugald River will provide additional tonnes to the market at a time of shrinking supply,” CEO Andrew Michelmore said in the release.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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