London-listed miner Kaz Minerals has increased copper production across all its divisions, delivering a 5% increase in group output, despite a challenging operating environment during the second quarter.
The Kazakhstan-focused miner lifted production from 74 900 t in the first quarter, to 78 900 t in the second quarter, taking half-year output to 153 800 t.
The stronger interim performance was driven by high ore throughput and improved grades at the Bozshakol mine, in northern Kazakhstan.
Gold production for first half of the year increased by 25% to 109 700 oz owing to higher processing volumes at Bozshakol, with second quarter gold output of 54 300 oz.
CEO Andrew Southam said that all metals were currently on track to achieve full-year production guidance, despite the elevated risks of Covid-19.
At Bozshakol in particular, copper production increased 28% to 60 400 t in the first six months of the year, with higher grades and 18% increase in ore throughput, owing to the deferral of maintenance and the suspension of the clay plant in the first half of 2019.
First half gold production at the operation was 40% higher at 83 300 oz, which also benefits from higher processing volumes and grades.
Kaz on July 30 said that the full year copper and gold guidance for Bozshakol remained unchanged at between 110 000 t and 120 000 t, and between 140 000 oz and 150 000 oz with scheduled maintenance in the second half of the year.
Meanwhile, at Aktogay, first half copper production was 67 600 t as stronger-than-planned sulphide copper grades of 0.56% were offset by temporarily lower recovery rates and ore throughput in the first quarter of the year.
Second quarter copper production increased by 3% to 34 300 t owing to higher recovery rates and ore throughput following scheduled maintenance in January. Aktogay is also on track to meet its full year production guidance of between 120 000 t and 130 000 t, though lower grades are expected in the second half of the year.
Further, copper production for the first half of the year at East Region and Bozymchak was 25 800 t with an increased output in the second quarter of 14 000 t as the Nikolayevsky concentrator operated at full capacity following planned idling in January.
Gold production for this period was 25 800 oz with higher output in the second quarter of 13 300 oz, also benefitting from the increased processing at Nikolayevsky.
Zinc concentrate output was 23 800 t, owing to higher grades of 2.62%.