VANCOUVER, April 11, 2017 /CNW/ - Capstone Mining Corp. ("Capstone") (TSX: CS) today announced production results for the three months ended March 31, 2017. Combined production totalled 20,900 tonnes of copper, with additional by-products of zinc, molybdenum, lead, silver and gold.
Q1 2017 Copper Production (tonnes)
|Total copper production (1)||20,900|
|(1) Total production includes copper in concentrate and cathode production.|
"The first quarter was challenging at Pinto Valley," said Darren Pylot, President and CEO of Capstone. "The heavy rain early in the year reduced the throughput capacity of the crusher and ultimately caused us to advance our decision to proceed with the primary crusher mainframe replacement. The rains also had an impact on grade, as we had to adjust our mine plan given the water in the pit."
"At the same time, we made some adjustments to optimize our mine plan at Minto to both capitalize on short term opportunities as well as lay the groundwork to extend operations beyond this year," continued Mr. Pylot. "Cozamin was a bright spot, performing better than expected for the quarter."
- Copper production at Pinto Valley was impacted by a 7-day planned shutdown in January to complete repairs in the fine ore bins and the tailing thickener distribution system. Production was also impacted by considerable rain in the first quarter, with Pinto Valley receiving five inches of rain over a two day period in late January, followed by additional rainfall in the following weeks. The heavy rains reduced mining productivity and slowed the primary crusher intake, delaying the return to full operations from the planned shutdown. Mine plan sequencing was changed to address high moisture in the bottom of the pit with more ore coming from the lower grade foothills area. Following the shutdown, saturated fine ore placed additional stress on the primary crusher mainframe. As a result, the lower frame replacement, originally deferred from Q2 2016, was done over 11 days in late February and early March. Temporary primary crushing units allowed for production at reduced rates. Full production resumed on March 9 and since then throughput has averaged 58,900 tonnes per day as of April 9.
- At Cozamin, grade and throughput were both better than expected for the quarter, with recovery as planned. Significant progress has been made in development rates with ongoing positive results from the process and contractor changes made in 2016.
- At Minto, grade for the quarter was lower than originally planned due to mine plan sequencing changes affecting timing of ore to the mill. A number of changes were made to optimize the mine plan in anticipation of the extension of operations at Minto beyond 2017 and to reduce re-handling costs. As a result, more low grade partially oxidized ore was directed to the mill causing recoveries to be slightly behind plan, offset by higher throughput.
Q1 2017 Operating Details
|Contained Production (1)|
|- Copper (tonnes)||11,300||4,131||5,520||20,950|
|- Zinc (tonnes)||-||1,258||-||1,258|
|- Molybdenum (Mo tonnes)||-||-||-||-|
|- Lead (tonnes)||-||19||-||19|
|- Silver (ounces)||61,481||261,622||56,385||379,488|
|- Gold (ounces) (2)||2,840||-||8,627||11,467|
|Payable Copper Production (1) (tonnes) (in concentrate and cathode)||10,920||3,970||5,340||20,231|
|- Ore (tonnes) – open pit||4,437,029||-||43,242||4,480,271|
|- Waste (tonnes)||6,384,301||-||2,008,027||8,392,328|
|- Ore (tonnes) – underground||-||236,802||68,082||304,884|
|- Tonnes processed||4,177,083||234,223||368,321||4,779,627|
|- Tonnes processed per day||46,412||2,602||4,092||53,107|
|- Copper grade (%)||0.31(3)||1.84||1.68||0.49|
|- Zinc grade (%)||-||0.78||-||0.78|
|- Molybdenum grade (%)||-||-||-||0.005|
|- Lead grade (%)||-||0.07||-||0.07|
|- Silver grade (g/t)||*||46||6||21|
|- Gold grade (g/t)||*||-||1.51||1.51|
|- Copper concentrate (dmt)||38,276||15,029||11,897||65,203|
|- Zinc concentrate (dmt)||-||2,635||-||2,635|
|- Molybdenum concentrate (dmt)||-||-||-||-|
|- Lead concentrate (dmt)||-||30||-||30|
|Payable Copper Shipped (tonnes)||12,403||4,064||5,115||21,582|
|(1) Adjustments based on final settlements will be made in future periods.
(2) Pinto Valley gold production reaches payable levels from time to time. Any payable gold production will be reported in the period revenue is received. At Minto, final gold production is not available since assaying is conducted off-site, but is estimated above.
(3) Grade and recoveries were estimated based on concentrate production. *Silver and gold have not been estimated in the Pinto Valley resource model. Only recovered silver and payable gold is reported for this mine.
Capstone's 2017 production guidance for 94,000 tonnes (±5%) of copper remains unchanged as Minto and Cozamin are expected to complete the year on, or slightly above, plan and Pinto Valley is expected to attain higher run rates for the remainder of 2017 since the major planned maintenance activity was completed in the first quarter.
Financial Results Timing
Capstone will report Q1 2017 financial results on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 after market close, followed by a conference call and webcast for investors and analysts on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 11:30 am Eastern Time (8:30 am Pacific Time).
Conference Call and Webcast Details
|Date:||Wednesday, April 26, 2017|
|Time:||11:30 am Eastern Time (8:30 am Pacific Time)|
|Dial in:||North America: 1-888-390-0546, International: +416-764-8688|
|Replay:||North America: 1-888-390-0541, International: +416-764-8677|
The conference call replay will be available until Wednesday, May 3, 2017. The conference call audio and transcript will be available on Capstone's website within approximately 48 hours of the call at http://capstonemining.com/investors/events-and-presentations/default.aspx.
About Capstone Mining Corp.
Capstone Mining Corp. is a Canadian base metals mining company, focused on copper. We are committed to the responsible development of our assets and the environments in which we operate. Our three producing mines are the Pinto Valley copper mine located in Arizona, US, the Cozamin polymetallic mine in Zacatecas State, Mexico and the Minto copper mine in Yukon, Canada. In addition, Capstone has two development projects; the large scale 70% owned copper-iron Santo Domingo project in Region III, Chile, in partnership with Korea Resources Corporation, and the 100% owned Kutcho copper-zinc project in British Columbia, Canada, as well as exploration properties in Chile and US. Capstone's strategy is to focus on the optimization of operations and assets in politically stable, mining-friendly regions, centred in the Americas. Our headquarters are in Vancouver, Canada and we are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). Further information is available at www.capstonemining.com.