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Minsur on track on 2016 production plans

2016/8/19      view:

    Despite a 11% year-on-year fall in first quarter tin production at its operations in Peru and Brazil, Minsur says it is on track to produce 26,000 – 28,000 tonnes of refined tin this year. Announcing its first quarter results the company pointed to a new ore sorting project which is expected to boost ore grades at its San Rafael mine and the planned completion of repairs to the dam at the hydro-electric power plant supplying its Pitinga mine during the third quarter.

    Tin-in-concentrate production at San Rafael declined by 7% to 4,274 tonnes in Q1, as both ore grades and the volume of ore treated fell relative to the same period of last year. However ore grades are expected to pick up from 2.09% Sn in Q1 to 2.3 – 2.4% by the end of the year after the new plant to sort previously stockpiled low grade ore comes into operation in late May/early June. Another forthcoming landmark at San Rafael is the expected completion of a preliminary feasibility study on the B2 tailings project in June. Production guidance for Minsur's Peruvian operations in 2016 remains at 20,000 – 21,000 tonnes, compared to 20,224 tonnes last year.

    Production performance at subsidiary Taboca's operations was mixed in Q1, with refined tin production falling by 19% year-on-year to 896 tonnes due to a maintenance shutdown in February, while mine production bounced back to a monthly record level in March as power supply problems eased. Guidance for Brazilian production in 2016 is 6,000 – 7,000 tonnes, up from 5,525 tonnes produced in 2015.

    Cash costs at the two mines in the first quarter were reported as US$8,224/t in Peru and $17,768/t (net of niobium tantalum by-product revenues) in Brazil. However in the latter case energy costs were temporarily inflated by close to $2,000/t by the need to use diesel generators pending the restoration of hydro power supply. By-product revenues should also be boosted later in the year by an expansion in niobium-tantalum alloy production capacity to 4,400 tpy.