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Jiama Copper Gold Polymetallic Mine

The Jiama project is one of the largest copper gold polymetallic mines in China. The Jiama project is located within the Gangdise Copper Metallogeny Belt in Central Tibet, China and is approximately 60 kilometers east of Lhasa City along the Sichuan-Tibet Highway. The Jiama project is a large scale polymetallic deposit consisting of copper, molybdenum, gold, silver, lead and zinc.

The Company acquired the Jiama project on December 1, 2010 concurrent with the closing of its initial public offering and listing on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited. Commercial production began at the Jiama project in September 2010.

Phase I development was completed at the Jiama project in 2010 and included two open pits, a processing plant and an underground ore transportation system. The Jiama current processing 6,000 capacity is tonnes of ore per day.

Phase II expansion started commercial production on July 1, 2018. Jiama Mine’s Phase II consists of two series, Series I and Series II, each having a mineral processing capacity of 22,000 tpd.  The full design capacity of ore processing at Jiama Mine will increase to 50,000 tpd from the previous capacity of 28,000 tpd once Series II reaches full design capacity.

Copper Production

 


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Highlights

  • Open-pit and underground mines operation
  • A large, skarn-type and porphyry copper polymetallic deposit with well-developed hornfels-type mineralization located in the Gangdise Copper Metallogeny Belt
  • Principal product: Copper with gold and silver credits
  • Commercial production of Jiama Phase II Expansion commenced July 3, 2018
  • With Jiama continues to ramp up operations at Phase II expansion to full design capacity, the copper production in 2019 is expected to reach to approximately 132 million pounds.
  • Expected life of mine: 35 years
  • According to the feasibility study, production is expected to grow to 176 million pounds of copper per year when reach full design processing capacity

RECENT UPDATES:

Third Quarter ("Q3") 2018 Financial Performance Snapshot

Jiama Mine Three months ended September 30,  Nine months ended September 30,
  2018 2017 2018 2017
Copper sales1 (US$ in millions) 87.17 27.71 197.81 77.31
Copper produced (pounds) 3, 7 36,409,235 14,196,304 82,262,054 46,162,635
Copper sold (pounds) 3 38,325,511 14,491,077 80,726,808 38,538,698
Gold produced (ounces) 3, 7 17,392 12,200 48,112 29,817
Gold sold (ounces) 3 19,366 9,722 44,604 27,538
Silver produced (ounces) 3, 7 993,286 855,464 2,224,824 1,557,121
Silver sold (ounces) 3 1,008,220 537,111 2,152,984 1,248,770
Total production cost 4 (US$) of copper per pound after by-products credits 6 1.71 1.36 2.21 1.20
  1. The amounts for September 30, 2017, excludes sales of goods produced during the commissioning of Phase II, Series I.
  2. 2018 Quantities of Copper, Gold and Silver produced and sold include the production and sales from the Phase II expansion
  3. Production costs include expenditures incurred at the mine sites for the activities related to production including mining, processing, mine site G&A and royalties etc.
  4. Non-IFRS measure.
  5. By-products credit refers to the sales of gold and silver during the corresponding period.
  6. 2017 production includes: Copper produced from Phase I of 16,239 tonnes (35.8 million pounds) and Phase II of 4,700 tonnes (10.4 million pounds).
    Gold produced from Phase I of 26,359 ounces and Phase II of 3,458 ounces.
    Silver produced from Phase I of 1,059,553 ounces and Phase II of 497,568 ounces.
  • Jiama Mine produced 16,515 tonnes (36.4 million pounds) of copper, an increase of 156% compared with Q3 2017 (6,439 tonnes, or 14.2 million pounds).
  • In the third quarter of 2018, unit total production cost after by-products credits was higher compared to the same period in 2017 due to lower grades of ore produced from the use of the open-pit mine in Phase II and higher amortization cost. Unit cash production cost after by-products credits for the three month period in 2018 was approximately 10% higher due to lower grades of copper compared to the same 2017 period.

Third Quarter ("Q3") 2018 Production Update

Jiama Mine Three months ended September 30, Nine months ended September 30,
  2018 2017 2018 2017
Ore processed (tonnes) 3,372,400 879,938 7,2041,141 3,245,698
Average copper ore grade (%) 0.68 0.90 0.71 0.85
Copper recovery rate (%) 72 81 73 76
Average gold ore grade (g/t) 0.30 0.52 0.39 0.47
Gold recovery rate (%) 54 67 53 61
Average silver ore grade (g/t) 15.39 25.41 17.21 28.17
Silver recovery rate (%) 60 60 56 53
  • According to the mining plan for the Phase II expansion, the Jiama Mine began to produce low grade ore from the open pit mine. 
  • As a result such, the Company expected the average ore grade to be lower than previous years which used higher grade ore from underground mining only. 
  • Production cost was also expected to be higher since the commencement of commercial production of Phase II due to the lower grade of ore.

Mineral Resources Estimate

Jiama Project - Cu, Mo, Pb, Zn ,Au, and Ag Mineral Resources under NI 43-101
Reported at a 0.3% Cu Equivalent Cut off grade*, as of December 31, 2017

Class Quantity
Mt
Cu % Mo % Pb % Zn % Au g/t Ag g/t Cu Metal
(kt)
Mo Metal
(kt)
Pb Metal
(kt)
Zn Metal
(kt)
Au Moz Ag Moz
Measured 96.3 0.39 0.04 0.04 0.02 0.08 5.62 381 35 42 22 0.26 17.46
Indicated 1,378.0 0.41 0.03 0.05 0.03 0.11 6.00 5,654 466 732 460 4.88 270.57
M+I 1,474.4 0.41 0.03 0.05 0.03 0.11 5.97 6,035 500 774 482 5.14 288.03
Inferred 406.1 0.31 0.03 0.08 0.04 0.10 5.13 1,247 123 311 175 1.32 66.93

Mineral Reserves Estimate

Jiama Project Statement of NI 43-101 Mineral Reserve Estimate as of December 31, 2017

Class Quantity
Mt
Cu % Mo % Pb % Zn % Au g/t Ag g/t Cu Meta
(kt)
Mo Metal
(kt)
Pb Metal
(kt)
Zn Metal
(kt)
Au Moz Ag Moz
Proven 21.2 0.60 0.05 0.05 0.03 0.21 9.05 129 10 10 7 0.14 6.23
Probable 408.0 0.61 0.03 0.13 0.08 0.18 11.28 2,499 131 548 317 2.41 149.67
P+P 429.1 0.61 0.03 0.13 0.07 0.19 11.17 2,628 141 559 324 2.56 155.90

Click here for Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations Nine Months ended September 30, 2018

2018 Company Copper Production Highlights

  • Copper production was approximately 121.3 million pounds from the Jiama Mine, representing an increase of approximately 54% compared to 2017. This exceeds more than 21% of the previously forecasted production guidance of 100 million pounds disclosed at the beginning of 2018.

Health, Safety & Environment: 

  • Safety performance: as of September 30, 2018, achieved 187 days zero fatality rate for million-ton production, zero major equipment accident rate, zero major fire and explosion accident rate, and zero major traffic accident rate

LOOKING FORWARD:

Guidance Highlights for 2019:

  • The Company anticipates production of approximately 132 million pounds of copper in 2019.

Click here for Preliminary 2018 Production results and 2019 Outlook news release

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