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Hudbay Minerals increases Q1 copper output by 159%

HudBay MineralsInc. has more than doubled its copper production during the first quarterto 38,879 tonnes from 15,008 tonnes a year earlier, representing a 159% increase.

The Toronto-based miner said April 28 that the replacement oftrunnions on one of the two grinding circuits at the Constancia copper mine in Peru was completed aheadof schedule in March and both circuits are now operating at full capacity.

Meanwhile, first-quarter gold production climbed to 27,245 ouncesfrom 23,676 ounces in the same quarter of 2015 and silver output grew to 722,916ounces from 310,867 ounces.

Zinc production rose year over year to 23,376 tonnes from 22,906tonnes.

Payable metal-in-concentrate sales during the first quarter werealso higher at 41,919 tonnes of copper, 17,717 ounces of gold, 774,309 ounces ofsilver and 25,420 tonnes of refined zinc.

This compares to 10,995 tonnes of copper, 12,350 ounces of gold,100,317 ounces of silver and 23,779 tonnes of refined zinc in the prior correspondingperiod.

HudBay reported a first-quarter loss of US$15.8 million, or 7cents per share, compared to a net loss of US$19.8 million, or 8 cents per share,in the first quarter of 2015.

The company said the loss reflects US$23.0 million worth of interestexpense that is no longer capitalized following the start of commercial productionat Constancia at the end of April 2015.

HudBay also managed to reduce its all-in sustaining costs forthe first quarter to US$1.80 per pound of copper from US$2.67 per pound of copperin the same three months of 2015.