JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Record third-quarter production from the Proyecto Riotinto mine, in Andalucía, Spain, has prompted Atalaya Mining to fine tune its copper production guidance for 2017.
The mine boosted its September-quarter production by 18% to a record 10 679 t of copper in concentrate, as copper head grade and recovery rates exceeded expectations. The operation reported an average copper head grade of 0.58%, a throughput of 2.2-million tonnes of ore processed and a recovery rate of 85.95%.
As a result, Aim- and TSX-listed Atalaya published a new production guidance of 36 000 t to 39 000 t, compared with its previous guidance of 34 000 t to 40 000 t.
CEO Alberto Lavandeira said in a statement that the company expected its production to be at the upper-end of the guidance range.
Atalaya reported that operations at Proyecto Riotinto were running at a consistent rate, owing to improved operational efficiencies and additional mining fleet. Three new excavators and eight new trucks have been delivered and commissioned during the quarter.
The company noted that its all-in sustaining costs for the year could be slightly higher than its original estimate, owing to different capitalisation criteria applicable to mining stripping costs. The guided range is between $1.95/lb and $2.10/lb, compared with a previous range of $1.90/lb and $2.10/lb.
Meanwhile, work is continuing at the Proyecto Touro project, which the company hopes will be its second operating mine in Spain.
Atalaya said it would publish a technical report, which would be at prefeasibility study level, in the fourth quarter.