KAZ Minerals PLC announced that the testing and commissioning of the main Aktogay sulphide concentrator has commenced today. Production of saleable copper concentrate from sulphide ore is expected by the end of the first quarter of 2017. Production guidance for Aktogay in 2017 will be announced with the Group’s full year results on 23 February 2017.
The Aktogay project budget has been reviewed and reduced by $100 million to $2,100 million. The saving has been achieved through faster than anticipated progress in construction of the concentrator, a partial release of contingency and from the continued benefit of a local supplier strategy and sustained weak tenge.
The timing of the remaining capital payments has been updated, with certain payments previously expected in late 2016 now anticipated in early 2017 and $70 million relating to the expansion of oxide ore heap leach cells deferred to 2018.
The resulting capital expenditure profile for the project is expected to be approximately $100 million in H2 2016, $240 million in 2017 and $370 million in 2018. The $370 million guidance for 2018 includes $300 million of payments relating to work in 2016 and 2017 that was deferred under an agreement with the principal construction contractor in November 2015.
Oleg Novachuk, Chief Executive, said: “We are happy to be able to announce the start of commissioning activities at the Aktogay sulphide concentrator and a further reduction of $100 million in the project budget. We are now focused on ramping up production at Aktogay and Bozshakol to deliver industry-leading copper production growth.”