Consolidated Zinc, an Australia-based mining company, reported sales of payable zinc at 476mt in the December quarter, down 45pc from 863mt in the prior-year quarter. Payable lead sales rose by 70pc to 217mt in the period.
The company processed 6,842mt of ore grading 14.35pc zinc and 8.02pc lead. Ore processed in the prior year stood at 11,712mt with zinc 16.1pc, lead 8.4pc. This was significantly low due to electricity supply and other operational issues resulting in 65pc availability for the plant.
Operations were impacted in December quarter with lower-than-expected operator and equipment availability, stated the company. The company reported 432mt of zinc concentrates and 45mt of lead concentrates available for sales under the company’s inventory at the end of December quarter.
The company said the refurbishment and expansion of the Plomosas plant in Mexico to enable on-site processing and in-house management of plant operations commenced in October 2020. The plant is being built to process 100mt daily of ore initially, whereas the ball mill has a 200mt a day capacity to facilitate future production expansion, planned for late 2021.
The project is now 65pc complete at the end of the quarter because unusual extreme winter weather delayed the tailings dam construction coupled with the increasing cases of COVID-19 in the region, which impacted company’s ability to recruit and deploy the construction team. The construction is expected to be completed by February 2021.
The December quarter’s C1 operating costs were around $1.05/payable lb of zinc sold, in line with the previous quarter at $1.05/lb. Operating costs were higher than expected on the back of intermittent operations and poor availability at the Aldama plant in Central America, increased mining costs and the worsening pandemic situation in Mexico.