MMG sees copper output sink 20% in first quarter, confirms Peru force majeure (Reuters U.S. – April 23, 2020)

(Reuters) – MMG Ltd said on Thursday its copper output fell 20% year-on-year in the first quarter because of lower-than-planned production at the Las Bambas mine in Peru, where the miner has declared force majeure because of coronavirus-related curbs.

Las Bambas is among the world’s biggest copper mines and one of the major mining projects that has cut production, prompting Australia-based MMG to formally withdraw its full-year production guidance for the mine earlier this month.

Company-wide copper production for the three months ended March 31 totalled 91,911 tonnes, MMG – which is majority-owned by China Minmetals Corp [CHMIN.UL] – said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange, down from 114,369 tonnes a year earlier.

At Las Bambas, production of copper in concentrate slipped 28% year-on-year to 73,319 tonnes.

MMG said this was lower than planned because of repairs on an overland ore conveyor and local community blockades that impacted logistics, but the greatest disruption since mid-March has been because of the novel coronavirus, which has seen Peru declare a state of emergency to contain the spread.

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