Oxiana Resources Ltd (ASX: OXR.ax) said first quarter copper production at its Sepon mine in Laos hit a record 17,132 tonnes, up from 13,827 tonnes in the same quarter a year earlier.
Oxiana, which is in the middle of a friendly A$6.1 billion (US$5.6 billion) takeover of fellow Australian miner Zinifex (ASX: ZFX.ax) to broaden its commodities base, also said that full year output at the mine would be in line with a previous forecast of 60,000 tonnes to 65,000 tonnes.
Sepon gold production in the quarter was 24,235 ounces, but output is expected to fall to 17,000 to 19,000 in the second quarter due to a decline in mill feed grade. Annual production, however, will reach forecasts of 90,000 ounces to 100,000 ounces, Oxiana said.
“Higher consumable costs were more than offset by record production, seeing the direct cash cost for the quarter below the expected range,” it said.
Record volumes of ore were mined at its Golden Grove mine in Australia in the quarter, while 2008 production at its Prominent Hill mine is expected to be 10,000 tonnes of copper and 6,000 ounces of gold.
Oxiana’s chief executive, Owen Hegarty, said last week that Oxiana, which he founded after purchasing properties in Laos from Rio Tinto Ltd/Plc (ASX: RIO.ax), was scouring for mergers and acquisitions and was looking to move into Africa and Latin America. (US$1=A$1.08)