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Oz Minerals ends 'excellent' year with record production


South Australian copper and gold producer Oz Minerals has bucked torrid copper prices and a cost-cutting quarter to post a record-producing finish to 2015.

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In its quarterly report to the ASX on Thursday, Oz Minerals stated it had exceeded production with 130,305 tonnes of copper sourced for the year, 32,636 ounces of that mined during the December quarter.

Oz Mineral’s report comes almost a week after it announced 100 contractors would be lost at its Prominent Hill operations.

On January 15, Oz Minerals confirmed to InDaily about 100 Thiess contract workers at the mine would lose their jobs “over the next few months”.

The company stated the workers’ positions were being “demobilised” as Prominent Hill’s open pit came to the end of its lifecycle.

“Like all mining projects, Prominent Hill is evolving,” the company stated last Friday.

“The open pit is moving to its final stages whilst the underground mine is rapidly expanding.”

Today, in a statement to the securities market, managing director and chief executive officer Andrew Cole said it had been an “excellent” year for production at the mine.

“Prominent Hill had an excellent year in terms of safety production and cost reduction,” Cole said.

“We had a record year of production and even with the current state of commodity prices, Prominent Hill is generating very significant cash flows with healthy margins.

“Our focus in 2015, which is to become a lean business, has driven down our costs whilst improving our operational output and realiability.

“This sets us up for another strong year in 2016.”

Cole said shipments of Prominent Hill concentrates for the quarter came to 73,369 dry metric tonnes, containing 37,091 tonnes of copper, 29,870 ounces of gold and 223,822 ounces of silver,

He said the open pit was still operating well and the process plant consistently working at 25 per cent above its capacity.

Like so many other resource operations reacting to a falling commodity market, Oz Minerals implemented cost-cutting programs which have yielded financial savings.

“We have embedded the lean way of doing business across Oz Minerals and our cost reduction program in well underway,” Cole said.

During the year, the company announced three exploration deals in South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland, including farming nickel at Toro’s Waluna uranium operation.


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