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Capstone Copper Sees Decline in Key Input Costs in 3Q — Commodity Comment

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By Mary de Wet

Capstone Copper Corp. said it has seen a decline in input costs, such as sulphuric acid and diesel prices, in the third quarter.

On its outlook:

The Canadian copper miner said it has take action in light of the recent drop in copper prices, including reducing capital guidance by $40 million, mainly at its Santo Domingo and Pinto Valley operations, and putting copper hedges in place for 36,000 metric tons with a weighted average price of $3.73 a pound for the second half of the year, which would protect all of the expected oxide production.

“In addition, key input costs for acid, fuel and freight are starting to decline in Q3 2022,” Capstone said.

“We are now seeing signs of declining sulphuric acid and diesel prices,” Chief Executive John MacKenzie said.

The company maintained its guidance of 136,000 to 150,000 metric tons of copper production for the nine months from April 1 to Dec. 31.

On its second quarter:

Capstone produced 45,200 metric tons of copper, up from 19,600 tons in the year-ago quarter, as the results included a full quarter of production for the Mantos Blancos and Mantoverde mines.

On the Mantoverde Development Project:

“We expect completion of the MVDP to increase production from approximately 49,000 tonnes of copper (cathodes only) in our current guidance for the period from April to December 2022 (annualized) to 120,000 tonnes of copper (copper concentrate and cathodes) post project completion in 2024,” Capstone said.

“The mine will also benefit from the production of approximately 31,000 ounces of gold per year that will generate by-product credits. Upon completion of MVDP, approximately 75% of Mantoverde’s production will come from the lower-cost sulphide copper.”

“As of June 30, 2022, the MVDP had achieved overall progress of 58% and construction progress of 25% and the schedule remains intact and the target for construction completion remains late 2023.”

Write to Mary de Wet at mary.dewet@dowjones.com

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