Copper Mountain cuts cost targets after strong Q3

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Copper Mountain Mining Corp. [CMMC-TSX; CPPMF-OTC; C6C-ASX] is moving ahead with a mill expansion at its flagship southern British Columbia mine after posting what it described as strong financial results in the third quarter of 2020.

Copper Mountain’s flagship asset is the 75%-owned Copper Mountain mine near the town of Princeton. The Vancouver-based company is working in a strategic alliance with Mitsubishi Materials Corp., who owns 25% of the mine. The Copper Mountain mine produces about 90 million pounds of copper equivalent annually with a very large resource that remains open laterally and at depth.

Last year, Copper Mountain announced a new integrated life-of-mine production plan for the mine. The plan included a modest expansion of its existing mill to 45,000 tpd and the integration of production from the nearby New Ingerbelle property.

“Our plan is to continue to build upon our healthy cash position in anticipation of restarting construction of the third ball mill in early 2021, which is the last stage to complete our 45,000 tonnes per day mill expansion project,” said Copper Mountain President and CEO Gil Clausen.

“We have commenced activities to prepare for construction and forecast commissioning by the end of Q3, 2021,” Clausen said

Copper Mountain produced 23.8 million lbs copper equivalent (comprised of 18.9 million lbs copper, 6,630 oz gold, and 81,418 oz silver) in the third quarter ended September 30, 2020, at an all-in-sustaining cost of US$1.68/lb.

The company posted a net profit of $33.2 million or 13 cents/share in Q3, marking a rebound from a loss of $10.6 million or $0.05 in Q3 2019.

“We expect production to continue to increase in the fourth quarter with higher grades and recoveries, at low cost,” Clausen said. As result, the company is reducing its 2020 all-in cost guidance to a range of US$1.85 to US$2.00/lb copper. Copper Mountain is also maintaining its 2020 production guidance but expects to end the year at the upper end of the range.

The company previously said it expected to produce between 70 and 75 million lbs copper this year at an all-in sustaining cost of US$2.20 to US$2.35/lb.

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