Cyprus-based Atalaya Mining Plc’s copper production in the first quarter of the year (Jan-Mar, 2021) stood at 13,979mt, up by 5.7pc as compared to 13,229mt produced in the same quarter in the prior year (Q1 2020), the company informed in its quarterly operating results on April 14, 2021.
The company said that the increase in copper production is mainly attributable to better metallurgical recoveries and higher mill throughput.
Compared to the prior quarter (Q4 2020), however, the company’s copper output fell by 2.5pc due to lower copper grades and recoveries.
Despite ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, mining operations continued in Q1 normally with higher production levels as compared to the previous quarter. The lower quantity of ore mined from the pit, as per the mine plan, was compensated for by the delivery of stockpiles to the expanded plant, it added.
In Q1 2021, the company processed a record 4mn mt of ore despite a shutdown for seven days due to planned maintenance work in February. In March 2021, the mill processed around 1.5mn mt of ore.
The company informed that on-site copper concentrate inventories in Q1 2021 stood at 9,683mt. The copper concentrate stockpile was delivered to the port at Huelva.
The company added that copper prices increased in Q1 2021 to $3.59/lb from $2.99/lb in the preceding quarter (Q4 2020). The average copper spot price during the said period was $3.85/lb. The realized price during Q1 2021 excluding QPs was approximately $3.84/lb, it added.
It is planning to continue implementing cost reduction measures in Q2 2021. Among these are the reduction of power costs and the increase in copper recoveries through the reconnection of redundant flotation capacity. The company’s solar power plant is in the final stages of being sanctioned, after which, it will be commissioned.
The company aims to produce 52,000mt-54,000mt of copper in 2021.