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OZ Minerals hits lower end of FY'16 copper output guidance

Despite the power outages at the Prominent Hill operations in South Australia in the second half of 2016, OZ Minerals Ltd. on Jan. 30 said it achieved its full-year copper output guidance.

The company produced 29,758 tonnes of copper in the fourth quarter of 2016, bringing the annual production to 116,882 copper tonnes, hitting the lower end of the forecast 115,000 tonnes to 125,000 tonnes.

This compares with 28,756 copper tonnes produced in the September 2016 quarter.

Driven by a higher head grade and higher recovery, gold production in the quarter totaled 32,205 ounces, up 13% from the previous quarter and falling in the revised guidance range of 115,000 ounces to 120,000 ounces. Full-year gold output, meanwhile, totaled 118,333 ounces.

C1 costs in the quarter came in at 77.9 U.S. cents per pound, higher than the prior quarter costs of 70.7 cents per pound, due to higher mining costs, a smaller mining deferral and slightly higher TCRC and transport costs, partially offset by lower processing costs.

Full-year C1 costs totaled 74.1 cents per pound, falling within the 2016 guidance range of between 70 cents per pound and 80 cents per pound.

Shipments of Prominent Hill concentrates in the quarter totaled 59,211 dry tonnes, containing 29,098 tonnes copper, 25,637 ounces of gold and 217,085 ounces of silver.

Meanwhile, full-year shipments totaled 232,175 dry tonnes, containing 112,303 tonnes copper, 109,780 ounces of gold and 822,058 ounces of silver.

Additionally, the company confirmed its full-year 2017 production forecast at between 105,000 tonnes and 115,000 tonnes of copper, while gold output guidance was lowered to 115,000 ounces to 125,000 ounces at C1 costs of between 85 cents and 95 cents per ounce.

The company lifted the 2018 and 2019 copper output forecast to between 90,000 tonnes and 100,000 tonnes. Gold output guidance, meanwhile, was lowered to between 120,000 ounces and 130,000 ounces.

OZ Minerals expects to spend about A$10 million to A$15 million in exploration expenditures in 2017, and it earmarked about A$3 million for the West Musgrave scoping study.