Lundin Mining Corporation (“Lundin Mining” or the “Company”) today reported cash flows of $272.2 million generated from operations in its third quarter 2020. Adjusted operating cash flow2 for the quarter was $262.0 million ($0.36 per share). Attributable net earnings for the quarter was $122.4 million ($0.17 per share) and adjusted earnings2 was $106.4 million ($0.14 per share). Adjusted EBITDA2 was $300.3 million for the quarter.
Marie Inkster, President and CEO commented, “Though we have had challenges on several fronts over the past month, each has been met with immediate action plans. Our team is organized and determined. We will respond to adversity with action, to overcome our challenges in the most expeditious way possible.
Safety stand downs across our organization have given us time to honour our colleague at Neves-Corvo and reflect on our shared commitment to our goal of Zero Harm. Both our Alcaparrosa mine at Candelaria and Eagle mine were recognized by national governing bodies for their outstanding safety records, and our Company is on-track for our lowest injury rate year.
Operationally, noticeable progress has been made at Candelaria to improve overall mill throughput. The operation is well positioned for a return to full production rates once fair and sustainable labour agreements are reached. Chapada’s strong performance continued until late in the quarter. The team has done an excellent job to minimize the expected impact and to take advantage of the downtime, as seen by reinstated 2020 guidance. Official restart of the Zinc Expansion Project at Neves-Corvo is scheduled for early 2021 with planned fourth quarter 2020 activities to include commissioning of the SAG mill with waste. And lastly, Eagle and Zinkgruvan continue to perform well, taking advantage of the improving nickel, copper and zinc prices, as evidenced by Eagle’s record cash cost and free cash flow generation.”
All operations continued to effectively manage costs, but metal production was impacted by lower grades and throughput. In addition, while there was no significant impact to production, the Company had two unplanned operational suspensions in the last week of the quarter.
The Company continues to manage and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and has implemented preventative measures to ensure the safety of its workforce, local communities and other key stakeholders. To date, production disruptions as a result of COVID-19 have been minimal and there has been no significant disruption in the delivery or receipt of goods at our operations.
Candelaria (80% owned): Candelaria produced 35,836 tonnes of copper, and approximately 21 thousand ounces of gold in concentrate on a 100% basis in the quarter. Copper production for the quarter was lower than the prior year quarter primarily due to lower grades. Ore milled during the third quarter of 2020 significantly improved over that achieved in the first two quarters of the year as measures to address variability in ore hardness and mill circuit availabilities began to take hold. Mining is advancing through the areas of Phase 10 which were in proximity to where pit wall displacement issues occurred in Phase 9, without issue. Copper cash costs1 of $1.37/lb for the quarter were better than the prior year comparable quarter largely owing to the impact of favourable foreign exchange.
Chapada (100% owned): Chapada produced 12,990 tonnes of copper and approximately 24 thousand ounces of gold which were lower than the prior year quarter due primarily to lower throughput as a result of expected increase in ore hardness as well as the mill interruption at quarter-end. Processing activities were interrupted on September 27, 2020 when the protection system at the operation’s main electrical substation failed after the restoration of an outage, damaging all four SAG and ball mill motors. Two spare motors have since been installed and the operation is currently operating at approximately 30% of its throughput capacity. A return to full production is expected late in the fourth quarter. Despite the late quarter interruption, copper cash costs of $0.21/lb for the quarter were better than expected benefitting from favourable foreign exchange and higher gold by-product prices.
Eagle (100% owned): Eagle produced 4,854 tonnes of nickel and 5,055 tonnes of copper during the quarter. Nickel and copper production was higher than the prior year quarter due to higher grades from Eagle East. By-product credits, aided by rising copper prices, exceeded gross cash costs in the quarter resulting in record nickel cash costs of $(0.63)/lb. Gross costs were lower primarily due to treatment and refining charges.
Neves-Corvo (100% owned): Neves-Corvo produced 6,518 tonnes of copper and 15,459 tonnes of zinc for the quarter. Copper and zinc production were lower than the prior year quarter due to lower throughput. A voluntary 5-day suspension of mining and milling operations took place following a fatal accident on September 25, 2020. The Company held safety stand downs at all its operations globally and remains committed to safe production. Copper grades were also lower while zinc grades improved over the prior quarter. Copper cash costs of $1.97/lb for the quarter were higher than the prior year quarter due to lower sales volumes which were partially offset by higher by-product credits from higher zinc prices.
Restart of the Zinc Expansion Project (ZEP) is on track for early 2021. During the third quarter, work continued to prepare the surface and underground construction sites for the restart. Preparation work that is planned for the fourth quarter of 2020 includes ventilation raise work, activities on the SAG mill, including commissioning with waste, and surface conveyor installations.
Zinkgruvan (100% owned): Zinc production of 17,328 tonnes was higher than the prior year quarter due to higher achieved throughput. Lead production of 5,571 tonnes was lower than the prior year quarter due to lower feed grades. Zinc cash costs of $0.55/lb were higher than the prior year quarter as a result of higher per-unit operating costs as well as unfavourable foreign exchange.
|1 This is a non-GAAP measure. Please refer to the Company’s discussion of non-GAAP measures in its Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020.|
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