Boleo copper production below par

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Production remains below forecast at Mexico's US$1.8bn Boleo mine, impacted by underground mining challenges.

The Baja California Sur state operation produced 4,196t copper cathode in Q3 and 10,269t in January-September, minority owner Camrova Resources said.

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This compares to 20,000t previously forecast for 2016, Vancouver-based Camrova said, citing information provided by operator MMB and lead investor Korea Resources (Kores).

Boleo also produced 237t cobalt and 823t zinc sulfate in the first nine months of the year, Camrova said in its Q3 management discussion and analysis (MD&A) report.

Camrova, which changed its name from Baja Mining in October, held a 10% interest in Boleo at end-Q3, with the remainder owned by a consortium of South Korean businesses led by Kores.

PLANT, MINING OPERATIONS

The plant achieved a high of 85% availability in August, but processing was impacted by a six-day shutdown in September, double the three days planned for maintenance, after being affected by Hurricane Newton.

Underground mining remains below targeted levels at around 500t/d. Surface mining production was ahead of plan at end-Q3, despite delays resulting from the hurricane.

CASH CALL

MMB issued a cash call for US$102mn to fund Q4 operations in October. Camrova said it will not contribute its 10% share.

The company has not contributed to cash calls totaling US$346mn so far in 2016, including the October call, which may result in a further dilution of its stake in Boleo.