Capstone Copper experienced a decline in production during the second quarter, as its largest mine underwent repairs to a crushing circuit. This unexpected downtime at the Pinto Valley mine resulted in approximately 12 days of lost production. Additionally, maintenance downtime at the Mantos Blancos mill and lower oxide production at Mantoverde contributed to the lower-than-anticipated output, according to the Vancouver-based company.
In Q2, Capstone produced 39,300 metric tons of copper, a 13% decrease compared to the same period last year.
Outlook for the Future
Capstone acknowledges that unfavorable weather conditions and unplanned maintenance downtime affected its H1 results. However, the company expects improved operating performance at Pinto Valley and reduced downtime at Mantos Blancos in H2 2023. This is expected to result in more consistent throughput.
For H2 2023, Capstone aims to produce 83,000 to 93,000 tonnes of copper on a consolidated basis. The estimated cash costs for this production range from $2.55 to $2.75 per payable pound of copper.
In May, Capstone reaffirmed its full-year outlook of 170,000 to 190,000 metric tons of copper. The company expects to achieve this production level at C1 cash costs of $2.50 to $2.70 per payable pound.
Mantoverde Development Project Update
Capstone provided an update on the progress of the Mantoverde Development Project (MVDP), which is being constructed at the existing Mantoverde (oxide) operation. The MVDP aims to enable the mine to process 231 million tonnes of copper sulphide reserves over a 20-year expected mine life, in addition to the existing oxide reserves.
As of now, the MVDP is about 88% complete and remains on track for commissioning. Capstone plans to feed the first ore to the mill later this year.