KAZ Minerals PLC'scopper in concentrate output in the first quarter — which included the first contributionfrom Bozshakol of1,100 tonnes following initial production in February — increased to 22,400 tonnes,from 21,500 tonnes recorded in the same quarter in 2015, the company said April28.
Copper cathode equivalent production in the first three monthsof the year, which grew to 21,500 tonnes from 19,100 tonnes, benefited from the1,500 tonnes from Aktogay.
Gold bar equivalent production more than doubled to 13,000 ounces,from 6,400 ounces. The quarter's number included an increased contribution fromthe newly optimized Bozymchakconcentrator and benefited from the sale in January of 5,200 ounces of gold in concentratecarried forward from 2015, partly offset by a buildup of work in progress at theBalkhash smelter.
Meanwhile, zinc in concentrate production slipped to 19,900 tonnes,21% below the 25,100 tonnes recorded in the previous year, as mining continued inareas with lower zinc grades at the Artemyevskyand Orlovsky mines.
Silver granule equivalent likewise posted a downtick, to 751,000ounces from 895,000 ounces.
As of March 31, net debt stood at US$2.43 billion, higher thanthe US$2.25 billion as of Dec. 31, 2015, as KAZ Minerals continued to invest inthe development of the Bozshakol and Aktogay and as interest payments of US$79 millionwere made under the group's debt facilities
Cash and cash equivalents stood at US$1.11 billion as of March31, lower than the US$1.25 billion as of Dec. 31, 2015.