Wednesday, 02 December 2015

First copper produced from Aktogay oxide project

KAZ Minerals PLC announces that it has  produced  its  first copper cathode from oxide ore at  the  Aktogay project in the East of Kazakhstan

The SX/EW plant is expected to swiftly  reach  an output  level  of 15 kt per annum. The sulphide concentrator  remains on track  for  commissioning  in  2017,  which  will  result  in  the  Aktogay  project  delivering  a combined production from sulphide and oxide ore of 105 kt per annum  on average for the first 10 years.


Oleg Novachuk, Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted to announce the first copper from our major growth projects  with the  commencement of  cathode output from oxide ore at Aktogay. Our other major growth project,  Bozshakol,  will start production of  copper in concentrate in the first quarter of 2016  and  the  main  sulphide concentrator  at Aktogay  will  be  commissioned  in  2017.  The  completion  of  the  Aktogay  oxide  project  is  an important step  in  delivering industry leading growth from our portfolio of large scale, low cost, open pit copper mines.”


KAZ Minerals  PLC  (“KAZ Minerals” or “the Group”)  is a high growth copper company focused on  large  scale,  low  cost,  open  pit  mining  in  Kazakhstan.  It  operates  four  mines  and  three concentrators  in  the  East  Region  of  Kazakhstan  and  the  Bozymchak  copper -gold  mine  in Kyrgyzstan. In 2014, total copper cathode output from the East Region and Bozymchak was 84 kt with by-products of 121 kt of zinc in concentrate, 3,435 koz of silver granule and 35 koz of gold bar.


The Group has two major copper projects under construction, Bozshakol and Aktogay, and a third,  Koksay,  at  scoping  stage.  These  projects  are  expected  to  deliver  one  of  the  highest growth rates in the industry and transform KAZ Minerals into a company dominated by world class open pit copper mines.


The  Bozshakol  project  in  the  Pavlodar  region  of  Kazakhstan  is  scheduled  to  commence production  in  the  first  quarter  of  2016.  The  on-site  concentrators  will  have  an  annual  ore processing capacity of 30 million tonnes when fully ramped up and the deposit has a mine life of 40  years  with  an  average  copper  grade  of  0.36%.  Bozshakol  is  a  first  quartile  asset  on  the global cost curve, with an estimated net cash cost of 80-100 USc/lb (in 2015 terms)  on average for  the  first  10  years after the concentrators  have  been commissioned. The project will produce 100 kt of copper cathode equivalent  and  120 koz of gold in concentrate per year  over  the first 10 years of operations.


The  Aktogay  project  in  the  East  of  Kazakhstan  is  the  Group’s  second  copper  mining  asset under  construction.  Aktogay  commenced  production  of  copper  cathode  from  oxide  ore  in the fourth  quarter  of  2015,  and  the  production  of  copper  in  concentrate  from  sulphide  ore  is expected  to  begin  in  2017.  The  sulphide  concentrator  will  have  an  annual  ore  processing capacity of 25 million tonnes when fully ramped up. The deposit has a mine life of more than 50 years  with  average  copper  grades  of  0.33%  (sulphide)  and  0.37%  (oxide).  Aktogay  is competitively positioned on the global cost curve with  an estimated net cash cost of 110-130 USc/lb (in 2015 terms) for the first 10 years after the concentrator has been commissioned. The project will produce an average of 105 kt of copper cathode equivalent per year over the first 10 years of operations, consisting of  90  kt of copper cathode equivalent from sulphide ore  and  15 kt of copper cathode from oxide ore.


KAZ Minerals is listed on the London Stock Exchange, the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and employs around 10,000 people, principally in Kazakhstan.