Kazakhmys production hit by cold snap

City A.M. Reporter
COPPER miner Kazakhmys yesterday posted a dip in first quarter output after unusually cold weather at the start of the year disrupted transport and processing.

But the London-listed Kazakh miner forecast a stronger second half as it processes stockpiled ore and restarts the Konyrat open pit copper mine, shuttered in 2008, allowing it to confirm a 2012 production target of 285,000 to 295,000 tonnes of copper cathode.

The miner said it produced 64,500 tonnes of copper cathode from its own concentrate, down from 74,100 tonnes a year earlier, though some analysts had expected a flat quarter. Total copper cathode equivalent production was 65,100 tonnes from 74,200 tonnes in the same quarter last year. It completed the sale of its accumulated gold to the central bank for $115m (£71m) after resolving an outstanding issue over how the metal would be taxed.

The miner said it would continue selling gold monthly at market rates through 2012. Sales of gold, which Kazakhmys produces alongside copper, have been affected by restrictions imposed by the Kazakh central bank which said last September it would buy all the gold the country’s mines can produce until 2014-15, to boost the central Asian state’s reserves.