Sandfire on target despite lower DeGrussa output

Copper miner Sandfire Resources failed to impress investors this week after revealing production for the December quarter fell.

Copper production at its recently opened DeGrussa mine in Western Australia was 15,492 tonnes in the three months to December, falling from the 16,446 tonnes posted in the September quarter.

On the flip side average recovery at the mill was higher jumping to 90 per cent in the December quarter up from 82 per cent in the previous quarter.

Sandfire accounted the increase to the fact that no open pit material was processed during the December quarter, allowing only primary underground sulphide ore to be milled.

The miner is aiming to hit 92 per cent recovery in the next six months.

Throughout the December quarter the miner maintained its focus on developing its underground mining operations with five stopes now at various stages of production.

Total copper production for this financial year is now expected to be in the middle of the previously announced guidance range 65,000 to 75,000 tonnes.

While gold production is now forecast to be at the lower end of the 35-45,000 ounces range, which will also see operating costs for the financial year come in at the upper end of between $US1.05-1.15/lb.

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