CST: 01/07/2016 08:35:16   

Lundin Mining Announces 2015 Production Results and Provides Operating and Capital Guidance

161 Days ago

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan 21, 2016) - Lundin Mining Corporation (TSX:LUN)(OMX:LUMI) ("Lundin Mining" or the "Company"), announces production results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2015. The Company also provides operating and capital guidance for 2016.

2015 Highlights:

  • Exceeded the high-end of annual production guidance for copper and nickel while meeting overall targets for zinc.
  • Candelaria outperformed the most recent copper production guidance due primarily to higher than expected mill throughput in Q4.
  • At Candelaria as previously announced, the successful exploration and mine plan optimization efforts resulted in total Mineral Reserves increasing by approximately 20% and resulted in the extension of the mine lives of all of the higher grade underground mines as well as the open pit.
  • Zinkgruvan achieved new annual records relating to tonnes of ore mined and milled. Annual zinc production also constituted a new record for the operation.
  • As at year end 2015, the Company had a net debt balance of $441 million, and did not have any amounts drawn on its $350 million revolving credit facility.

A summary of the Company's production results compared to the latest guidance is shown below and further details are provided in the tables at the end of the release.



(contained tonnes)
Q4 2015
Production
Results
Full Year
2015
Production
Results
2015
Production
Guidance
1
Copper Candelaria (80%) 31,875 144,832 138,000 - 141,000
Eagle 5,996 24,331 23,000 - 24,000
Neves-Corvo 11,078 55,831 54,000 - 56,000
Zinkgruvan 5 2,044 2,000
Aguablanca 466 6,221 6,100
Wholly-owned 49,420 233,259 223,100 - 229,100
Tenke (24%) 2 n/a n/a 50,600
Total attributable n/a n/a 273,700 - 279,700
Nickel Eagle 7,074 27,167 26,000 - 27,000
Aguablanca 514 7,213 7,100
Total 7,588 34,380 33,100 - 34,100
Zinc Neves-Corvo 14,196 61,921 59,000 - 62,000
Zinkgruvan 25,339 83,451 82,000 - 85,000
Total 39,535 145,372 141,000 - 147,000

Mr. Paul Conibear, President and CEO commented: "The Company finished 2015 on a strong note and achieved or exceeded annual production guidance at each operation. In light of the current commodity price environment our operating and capital investment activities will continue to focus on financial flexibility and maximizing cash flows in order to preserve the Company's strong balance sheet."

2016 Production and Cost Guidance

  • All production guidance estimates for 2016 have remained unchanged from the figures previously disclosed on December 2, 2015.
  • The outlook below does not include guidance for the Aguablanca mine which remains under suspension pending further notice.
  • Our 2016 cash cost guidance reflects the results of cost review and reduction plans undertaken at each operation in order to help offset the cash cost impact of lower expected by-product credit metal prices.
2016 Production and Cost Guidance 3 Tonnes C1 Cost 4
Copper Candelaria (80%) 118,000 - 123,000 $1.55/lb
Eagle 20,000 - 23,000
Neves-Corvo 50,000 - 55,000 $1.65/lb
Zinkgruvan 3,500 - 4,000
Tenke (@24%)5 ~50,000 n/a
Total attributable 241,500 - 255,000
Nickel Eagle 21,000 - 24,000 $2.25/lb
Total 21,000 - 24,000
Zinc Neves-Corvo 65,000 - 70,000
Zinkgruvan 80,000 - 85,000 $0.45/lb
Total 145,000 - 155,000

2016 Capital Expenditure and Exploration Guidance

Capital expenditures for 2016 for mines operated by the Company are expected to be $220M, which includes:

  • $35M in capitalized stripping at Candelaria. This has significantly decreased from prior estimates due to a deferral of 30Mt of waste being mined from Phase 10, resulting in expected cost savings of approximately $65M in 2016.
  • At Candelaria spending on the Los Diques tailings facility is expected to amount to $70M in 2016. The total capex budget for the project is expected to total $325M between 2016 and 2018, in-line with prior estimates.
  • At Eagle sustaining capital costs are expected to total $10M in 2016, which represents a decrease of 50% compared to 2015 guidance levels.
  • At Neves-Corvo capital costs in 2016 are expected to total approximately $55M, in-line with guidance levels provided for 2015.
  • At Zinkgruvan the guidance amount of $35M for 2016 includes the spending of $8M on an expansion project which is aimed at increasing the overall mill capacity by approximately 10% by the end of 2017.
  • Exploration expenditures in 2016 are expected to total $40M, which represents a decrease of approximately $20M from 2015 guidance levels due to the deferral or cancelation of most greenfields exploration work.
  • The 2016 exploration budget comprises spending approximately $18M on exploration at Eagle East and $17M at Candelaria. All exploration activities remain discretionary and can be further reduced if necessary.
Capital & Other Costs ($ millions) 2016
Candelaria (100% basis):
Total Capitalized Stripping6 35
Los Diques Tailings Capex7 70
Other Sustaining Capex 15
Total Candelaria 120
Total Eagle 10
Total Neves-Corvo 55
Total Zinkgruvan 35
Total Capital Costs 220

About Lundin Mining

Lundin Mining Corporation is a diversified Canadian base metals mining company with operations in Chile, Portugal, Sweden, Spain and the US, producing copper, nickel and zinc. In addition, Lundin Mining holds a 24% equity stake in the world-class Tenke Fungurume copper/cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the Freeport Cobalt Oy business, which includes a cobalt refinery in Kokkola, Finland.

On Behalf of the Board,

Paul Conibear, President and CEO

The information in this release is subject to the disclosure requirements of Lundin Mining under the Swedish Securities Market Act and/or the Swedish Financial Instruments Trading Act. This information was publicly communicated on January 21, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain of the statements made and information contained herein is "forward-looking information" within the meaning of the Ontario Securities Act. This release includes, but is not limited to, forward looking statements with respect to the Company's estimated annual metal production, C1 cash costs, and capital expenditures. These estimates and other forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual events or results to differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, risks and uncertainties relating to estimated operating and cash costs, foreign currency fluctuations; risks inherent in mining including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, unusual or unexpected geological formations, ground control problems and flooding; including risks associated with the estimation of mineral resources and reserves and the geology, grade and continuity of mineral deposits; the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with the Company's expectations; the potential for and effects of labour disputes or other unanticipated difficulties with or shortages of labour or interruptions in production; actual ore mined varying from estimates of grade, tonnage, dilution and metallurgical and other characteristics; the inherent uncertainty of production and cost estimates and the potential for unexpected costs and expenses, commodity price fluctuations; inability to successfully integrate the Candelaria operations or realize its anticipated benefits; uncertain political and economic environments; changes in laws or policies, foreign taxation, delays or the inability to obtain necessary governmental permits; and other risks and uncertainties, including those described under Risk Factors Relating to the Company's Business in the Company's Annual Information Form and in each management discussion and analysis. Forward-looking information is in addition based on various assumptions including, without limitation, the expectations and beliefs of management, the assumed long term price of copper, nickel, zinc and other metals; that the Company can access financing, appropriate equipment and sufficient labour and that the political environment where the Company operates will continue to support the development and operation of mining projects. Should one or more of these risks and uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in forward-looking statements. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

2015 Operating Statistics

Details of operating statistics by mine, by quarter and for the year are summarized below:

Candelaria

2015
(100% Basis) Total Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1
Ore mined (000s tonnes) 33,922 8,012 8,240 9,022 8,648
Ore milled (000s tonnes) 29,694 7,504 7,933 7,327 6,930
Grade
Copper (%) 0.64 0.53 0.61 0.68 0.78
Recovery
Copper (%) 92.7 92.2 92.4 94.0 92.6
Production (contained metal)
Copper (tonnes) 181,040 39,844 45,195 46,651 49,350
Gold (000 oz) 102 23 25 27 28
Silver (000 oz) 1,874 394 433 464 583

Eagle

2015
Total Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1
Ore mined (000s tonnes) 740 190 191 175 184
Ore milled (000s tonnes) 746 183 193 184 186
Grade
Nickel (%) 4.3 4.3 3.9 4.2 4.7
Copper (%) 3.4 3.4 3.5 3.1 3.6
Recovery
Nickel (%) 84.2 83.8 85.0 84.4 83.5
Copper (%) 97.0 97.9 97.3 96.4 96.4
Production (contained metal)
Nickel (tonnes) 27,167 7,074 6,438 6,349 7,306
Copper (tonnes) 24,331 5,996 6,514 5,403 6,418

Neves-Corvo

2015
Total Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1
Ore mined, copper (000 tonnes) 2,501 583 614 673 631
Ore mined, zinc (000 tonnes) 1,000 241 255 254 250
Ore milled, copper (000 tonnes) 2,542 584 619 699 640
Ore milled, zinc (000 tonnes) 1,014 240 257 258 259
Grade
Copper (%) 2.7 2.4 2.8 2.7 2.9
Zinc (%) 8.0 7.5 8.1 7.9 8.5
Recovery
Copper (%) 80.6 79.6 79.1 81.1 82.4
Zinc (%) 71.8 75.6 63.3 73.6 74.9
Production (contained metal)
Copper (tonnes) 55,831 11,078 13,917 15,348 15,488
Zinc (tonnes) 61,921 14,196 14,363 16,022 17,340
Lead (tonnes) 3,077 311 366 1,080 1,320
Silver (000 oz) 1,329 270 310 359 390

Zinkgruvan

2015
Total Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1
Ore mined, zinc (000 tonnes) 1,126 313 257 289 267
Ore mined, copper (000 tonnes) 137 nil 40 52 45
Ore milled, zinc (000 tonnes) 1,096 307 260 267 262
Ore milled, copper (000 tonnes) 139 nil 52 43 44
Grade
Zinc (%) 8.3 9.0 7.7 8.6 7.6
Lead (%) 3.8 4.2 4.0 3.4 3.4
Copper (%) 1.7 nil 1.1 2.4 1.5
Recovery
Zinc (%) 92.1 91.5 91.5 92.8 92.6
Lead (%) 82.9 83.0 83.7 82.4 82.6
Copper (%) 88.1 nil 80.1 91.9 89.0
Production (contained metal)
Zinc (tonnes) 83,451 25,339 18,458 21,237 18,417
Lead (tonnes) 34,120 10,733 8,609 7,379 7,399
Copper (tonnes) 2,044 5 475 974 590
Silver (000 oz) 2,542 729 627 622 564

Aguablanca

2015
Total Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1
Ore mined (000s tonnes) 616 nil 51 187 378
Ore milled (000s tonnes) 1,292 100 376 392 424
Grade
Nickel (%) 0.68 0.65 0.58 0.70 0.77
Copper (%) 0.52 0.50 0.48 0.54 0.54
Recovery
Nickel (%) 81.1 77.0 78.4 82.0 83.7
Copper (%) 93.1 90.6 93.0 93.4 93.4
Production (contained metal)
Nickel (tonnes) 7,213 514 1,708 2,245 2,746
Copper (tonnes) 6,221 466 1,658 1,975 2,122

(1) Guidance as presented in the Company's Management Discussion and Analysis for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2015.

(2) Production results for Tenke have not yet been released by operator Freeport-McMoRan Inc. ("Freeport").

(3) Production guidance is based on certain estimates and assumptions, including but not limited to; mineral resources and reserves, geological formations, grade and continuity of deposits and metallurgical characteristics.

(4) Cash costs remain dependent upon exchange rates (forecast at EUR/USD: 1.10, USD/SEK: 8.50, USD/CLP: 700) and metal prices (forecast at Cu: $2.05/lb, Ni: $4.15/lb, Zn: $0.70/lb, Pb: $0.70/lb, Au: $1,100/oz, Ag: $15.00/oz, Co: $13.00/lb).

(5) Tenke guidance has not yet been provided by operator, Freeport. Lundin Mining anticipates production from Tenke in 2016 to be comparable to expected 2015 production.

(6) During the production phase, waste stripping costs which provide probable future economic benefits and improved access to the orebody are capitalized to mineral properties. The Company capitalizes waste costs when experienced strip ratios are above the average planned strip ratio for each open pit phase under development.

(7) The Los Diques project capex is based on project review estimates completed in 2015 which assumed an USD/CLP exchange rate of 625.

Lundin Mining Corporation
John Miniotis
Senior Manager, Corporate Development & Investor Relations
+1-416-342-5565
Lundin Mining Corporation
Sonia Tercas
Senior Associate, Investor Relations
+1-416-342-5583
Lundin Mining Corporation
Robert Eriksson
Investor Relations, Sweden
+46 8 545 015 50