Oz Minerals, an Australian copper and gold miner has maintained its copper output guidance of 83,000-100,000mt for 2020 despite global uncertainties and shutdowns due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Demand for copper concentrate and shipping schedules for 2020 remain unchanged, with no supply disruptions according to the copper miner. The company provided a positive outlook on increased demand in China for copper-intensive items such as air conditioners and vehicles in the past few weeks as China’s manufacturing PMI also rose to 52 in March, from an all-time low of 35.7 in February. Oz Minerals maintained its positive forecast despite temporary impact due to reduction in copper concentrate supply from major producers in South America and Africa to the broader market.
Prominent Hill, the company’s largest mine is expected to produce 55,000-65,000mt of copper in 2020, where operations are running as expected. Oz Minerals announced it has 18mn mt of stockpiled ore available for processing if faced with mining disruptions. The ramp-up at Carrapateena, it’s second largest plant, has progressed ahead of plan and achieved a daily continuous output of 12,000mt for five days in March with a current ore stockpile of 350,000mt. The South Australian mine is expected to produce 20,000-25,000mt copper in 2020 and Oz Minerals’ Brazilian mines in Carajas are expected to produce 8,000-10,000mt this year.
The company in its statement said, “A$ copper price has proved resilient against a deteriorating US$ spot price, and with the vast majority of the core Australian operations’ cost base being A$ sourced, the lower A$ has provided an effective hedge against US$ based revenues.”
Oz Minerals produced 109,289mt of copper in 2019 and has assured sufficient liquidity to fund operations for 2020.