MMG flags price slump on back of US-China trade war

Chinese-backed MMG has blamed the US-China trade dispute for the fall in base metal prices that affected the company’s June quarter results.

MMG reported that market concerns over the trade war have undermined positive fundamentals for metals such as copper, while sending gold prices to a multi-year high.

The company further estimated that global supply for copper concentrate is unlikely to rise this year.

Its total copper production of 101,158 tonnes in the June quarter is reflective of a 16 per cent decline, which is blamed on logistical disruptions at its Las Bambas mine in Peru.

MMG placed Las Bambas’ plant operation in a forced shutdown in early April when community road blocks had caused critical supplies to be exhausted on site.

Last Bambas is a joint venture between MMG (62.5 per cent), Guoxin International Investment (22.5 per cent) and CITIC Metal (15 per cent).

MMG still expects copper production for 2019 to be at the lower end of its 385,000–405,000 tonnes guidance range.

MMG’s zinc production, however, has remained stable at 56,929 tonnes as ramp up at the Dugald River mine in Queensland continues to advance well.

Mine development works at Dugald River continued to open a higher average number of operating stopes, resulting in a 15 per cent uplift in mined ore compared with the first quarter.

Both MMG’s copper and zinc production has, however, taken a dip against the same period last year.

MMG attributed its fall in zinc production to an 11-day planned maintenance shutdown during the June quarter.

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