Lundin Mining Corp. said it anticipates strong growth in its metal production.
The company said copper production is expected to rise by over 20% in 2020 compare to 2019, with full year contributions from the Chapada copper-gold mine in Brazil and Candelaria mining complex in Chile.
The company said zinc production is forecast to increase by over 15% in the same period while nickel production will jump by over 25%. Lundin shares eased 0.41% or $0.03 to $7.30 on volume of 1.8 million. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $5.11 and $7.96. Lundin is a diversified Canadian base metals mining company with operations in Chile, the United States, Portugal, Sweden and Finland, primarily producing copper, nickel and zinc. Lundin also holds an indirect 24% equity stake in the Freeport Cobalt Oy business, which includes a cobalt refinery in Kokkala Finland.
Lundin acquired a 100% interest in the Chapada copper-gold mine from Yamana Gold Inc. for US$800 million. A traditional open-pit truck and shovel operation, Chapada is expected to produce approximately 54,500 tonnes of copper and 100,000 ounces of gold this year (75,000 tonnes of copper equivalent) at a co-product cash cost of between US$1.60 and US$1.80 a pound for copper and US$430 per ounce for gold equivalent.
The three-year production outlook for Chapada is based on a NI 43-101 technical report that was filed on SEDAR on October 10, 2019. Copper production is forecast to be between 51,000 and 56,000 tonnes over the next three years based on the current 24 million tonne per-year throughput rate. Chapada gold production is expected to be 70,000 to 95,000 ounces over the next three years, marking a significant increase in Lundin’s upstream gold output.
At Candelaria, copper production is expected to increase during the next two years, primarily on the back of improving copper head grades and as the benefits of reinvestment initiatives are realized. Copper production there is forecast to average approximately 180,000 tonnes annually over the 10-year period from 2020 to 2029.
Meanwhile, after an expected increase of 25% next year, nickel production is expected to remain at this increased level over the three-year period as higher grade ore from the Eagle East mine in Michigan contributes to mill feed. Eagle East is a 2,000 tonnes-per-day underground nickel-copper mine. Ramp access to the Eagle East orebody is currently underway.
Additionally, the Neves-Corvo Zinc Expansion Project (ZEP) in Portugal is advancing on schedule for phased ramp-up in 2020. Following next year’s 15% rise, zinc production is forecast to increase by a further 30% in 2021, over 2020, with a full year contribution from ZEP.
In other news, Lundin said a 33% increase in the quarterly dividend to $0.04 per common share of the company, or 16 cents annualized is expected to be declared with the release of 2019 full-year financial results in February, 2020, pending the approval of the company’s board of directors.