Capstone bumped up after positive production numbers

Capstone Mining Corp. (TSE: CS) added almost 3% in early trade on Thursday on big trading volumes, after announcing strong production results from its Mexico and Yukon copper mines.

Capstone's quarterly production was headlined by 11.6 million pounds of copper in concentrate from its 100%-owned Cozamin operation in Mexico and 7.3 million pounds of copper in concentrate at Minto in Canada's Yukon province.

Average total copper cash costs came in at $1.20 a pound and $2.14 a pound at the two properties respectively translating into combined production of 18.9 million pound of copper at an average total cash cost of $1.57 a pound.

By-product production during the third quarter included 4.5 million pounds of zinc, 0.4 million pounds of lead, 465,000 oz of silver, and 2,894 oz of gold in concentrates.

Capstone is sticking to its earlier production guidance for the full year of 85 million pounds of copper at total cash costs of $1.65 to $1.75 a pound, excluding the recently acquired Pinto Valley assets in Arizona.

Capstone in April announced the purchase of Pinto Valley from BHP Billiton for $650 million, an acquisition that is catapulting the company into the mid-tier of global copper miners by adding 130 – 150 million pounds to its production total. The acquisition is set to close tomorrow.

By midday the Vancouver-based company gave up some of the gains to change hands for $2.56 a share on the Toronto big board, with the number of shares traded already at the counter's daily average of 1.2 million.

Year to date Capstone, now worth $970 million on the TSX, is up 6%, one of not too many mining counters that have managed to  eke out gains in 2013.

The spot copper price lost some ground on Thursday trading at $3.21 a pound on Thursday, down 12.6% this year. The mining sector was generally positive on Thursday with the TSX S&P Global Mining index up around 1%.