Atalaya Mining (TSX: AYM), which produces copper from the legendary Proyecto Riotinto site in southwest Spain, posted a record production of 14,695 tonnes for the third quarter of 2020 following successful ramp up of the 15Mtpa expansion project.
This production rate is 7.8% higher than in Q2 2020 and is the third consecutive quarter where copper production has exceeded 13,000 tonnes.
The 15Mtpa expanded plant at the mine is now fully operational and producing at nameplate capacity. Atalaya is now focused on implementing cost reduction programs and improving copper recoveries.
Four million tonnes of ore were processed during the period with consistent daily throughput, except for periods of planned mill maintenance.
The increase in copper production during Q3 2020 is mainly attributable to this higher than budgeted levels of ore milled, which compensated for a short period of lower recoveries while treating some transitional ores.
However, recoveries for the remainder of 2020 are expected to be within guidance, and the company is on track to meet its 2020 production guidance of 55,000-58,000 tonnes of copper despite operating with covid-19 restrictions.
Proyecto Riotinto was permitted to resume operations in April after local authorities in Andalucía determined mining to be an essential industry, releasing the mine for production following a brief shutdown.
Shares of Atalaya Mining soared 13.2% on the TSX by 1:15 p.m. EDT Friday. The Cyprus-based company has a market capitalization of C$475.65 million.