Central Asia Metals reports strong third-quarter production
Central Asia Metals updated the market on operations in the third quarter at its Kounrad dump leach, solvent extraction and electro-winning (SX-EW) copper recovery plant in Kazakhstan, as well as the Sasa zinc-lead mine in North Macedonia on Thursday.
The AIM-traded firm confirmed there were no lost-time injuries at either Kounrad or Sasa during the three months.
It said that at Kounrad, a total of 4,146 tonnes of copper was produced in the quarter, meaning 10,360 tonnes of copper was produced in the first nine months of the year.
At Sasa, 5,742 tonnes of zinc in concentrate and 6,927 tonnes of lead in concentrate was produced in the third quarter.
That meant that, for the first nine months of the year, 17,033 tonnes of zinc in concentrate and 20,734 tonnes of lead in concentrate was produced at Sasa.
Looking ahead, Central Asia Metals said it was on track to achieve the top end of its 2021 guidance range for Kounrad's copper production, or 12,500 to 13,500 tonnes.
It was also on course to achieve the lower end of its 2021 guidance range for Sasa's zinc production of 23,000 to 25,000 tonnes, and was expecting lead production in the order of 5% below guidance of 30,000 to 32,000 tonnes.
“I am pleased to report strong production from both of our operations during the third quarter,” said chief executive officer Nigel Robinson.
“At Kounrad, we remain on track to meet the top end of our production guidance, and at Sasa, we have reported improved zinc and lead grades for the period, which have resulted in higher metal production than the previous quarter.
“We expect this trend to continue into the fourth quarter, although 2021 production for lead may be in the order of 5% below our guidance.”
Since reporting its first half financial results, Robinson said the firm had made the $10m accelerated debt repayment, which should mean it would have reduced its corporate debt facility to nil by August 2022.
“Given the strength of the company's balance sheet, Central Asia Metals is now more actively assessing potential acquisitions which would be considered accretive to the business and reviewed a number of opportunities during the period.”
At 1051 BST, shares in Central Asia Metals were up 3.37% at 230p.