Capstone Mining Corp. (CS.TO) today announced the operating
results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2012 of
its two operating mines, Cozamin and Minto. Combined production
totalled 19.7 and 82.8 million pounds of copper in concentrates in
the fourth quarter and full year 2012, respectively, with
additional by-products of zinc, silver, gold and lead.
"We achieved our 2012 production guidance of 80 million pounds
plus or minus 5% of copper, with both mines performing as
anticipated in the fourth quarter," said Darren Pylot, President
and CEO of Capstone. "The flexibility of having two operating mines
allowed Cozamin's strong performance to more than compensate for
the shortfall experienced at Minto during 2012."
Operational highlights for the three and twelve months ended
December 31, 2012:
- Production of 19.7 and 82.8 million pounds of copper contained
in concentrates, respectively.
- By-product production of 4.3 and 17.2 million pounds of zinc,
415,060 and 1,759,352 ounces of silver and 0.5 and 2.9 million
pounds of lead in concentrates, respectively. Final gold production
is not available since assaying is conducted off-site, but is
estimated at 6,785 and 18,599 ounces for the respective
- Cozamin remained a very steady producer. Over the past two
years recoveries have consistently exceeded 92%, with throughput
increasing from an average of 3,000 tonnes per day in 2011 to 3,200
tpd in 2012. Despite copper grades trending down towards the
reserve grade over time, continued exploration success has brought
high-grade ore from the Mala Noche Footwall Zone into production
and extended the current mine life (before inclusion of 2012
drilling) to nine years. Grades in the fourth quarter were above
the guided 1.7% copper, driven by the ability to selectively mine
high grade blocks in the West Zone.
- At Minto, 2011 and 2012 were transitional years as mining
progressed into the Area 2 pit. Throughput has steadily increased
at the mill, with 2012 throughput of 1.34 million tonnes up 7% from
2011. In December, regulatory approval was received to provide the
flexibility to further increase the milling rate up to 1.5 million
tonnes per year. Grades in the fourth quarter were at the expected
1.4% copper, and considered the plan changes due to highwall
instability, which resulted in processing much more low-grade
stockpile materials than long-term plans had anticipated. The
previously announced accelerated pushback that was necessary to
improve the stability of the west pit highwall continued throughout
the fourth quarter. Mining in the Area 2 pit resumed in late
December and we are working towards achieving the 2013 plan.
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