Atalaya Mining (AYM.TO, ATYM.L) has published its production results on its Rio Tinto copper mine in Spain and as expected the grade picked up again in the final quarter. Whereas the average grade of the ore that has been processed was just 0.47% in Q3, this increased to 0.56% and this wiped out the negative impact of the lower recovery rate of 83.6% (compared to 87.4%).

This brought the full-year copper output at  almost 45,000 tonnes (or roughly 100 million pounds) but the outlook for 2020 is quite encouraging as Atalaya is guiding for an even higher quarterly copper production than the 13,500 tonnes produced in the final quarter of 2019. For the entire year 2020 Atalaya is now guiding to produce 55,000-58,000 tonnes of copper (122-129 million pounds) and the higher production should have a positive impact on the all-in cost per pound of copper as the expanded plant is currently running at a throughput of 15 million tonnes per year which should create economies of scale.

Disclosure: The author has no position in Atalaya Mining.

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