OZ surpasses guidance

OZ Minerals has exceeded guidance expectations for 2009.

OZ Minerals production results have exceeded their full year projected guidance at Prominent Hill.

The miner recorded copper production of 36 497 tonnes for the fourth quarter, taking its yearly output to 96 310 tonnes.

This is following earlier guidance by OZ which forecast a full year production of between 85 000 tonnes to 90 000 tonnes maximum.

Added to this was OZ producing 30 526 ounces of gold in the three months to December, taking the 2009 gold output to a total of 75 535.

This was after OZ had previously given a lower guidance of between 60 000 to 7 0000 ounces for the year.

OZ also produced 700 177 ounces of silver from Prominent Hill.

The miner stated that this strong production performance was due to increased milling rates, good recoveries and high plant utilisation.

On the back of these higher production figures, OZ has upgraded its 2010-2012 forecast to between 100 000 to 110 000 tonnes of copper.

OZ is now focused on the extension of its current feasibility studies to include the Western Copper deposit as well as moving towards an initial inferred gold resource at Okvau in north east Cambodia.

It is looking to spend $20 million in the upcoming year on further exploration around Prominent Hill.

During the year, it sold its 75% stake in the Chatree project in Thailand.

However, it will continue to explore for greenfield opportunities in the country.

OZ Minerals was formed from a merger of Oxiana and Zinifex.

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