Lundin Mining foresees a rise in zinc and copper production in 2013 and 2014

Lundin Mining (TSE:LUN) said Monday that higher grades of ore and a ramp up of production is expected to boost zinc and copper production in 2013 and 2014.

The diversified Canadian base metal miner expects to increase production at its zinc plant located in Neves-Corvo, Portugal. As a result, the company sees zinc production rising to 125,000-135,000 tonnes in 2013 and 145,000-155,000 tonnes in 2014 from 109,000-125,500 tonnes expected in 2012.

Copper production, said the company, will rise about 25 percent to 107,000-117,000 tonnes in 2013 from 2012 levels.

President and CEO, Paul Conibear, said the company is very focused on improving its performance and meeting and improving on current production and cost targets.

“We have added depth both corporately and at the operations to facilitate better reliability from our mines. Lundin Mining is in a unique position as we offer meaningful near-term production growth to copper, zinc and nickel, all of which is expected to be fully-funded from operational cash flow going forward,” he added.

Exploration expenditures are expected to increase from around $43 million in 2011 to $50 million in 2012. Approximately $34 million of this will be spent at Neves-Corvo, where a 90,000 metre surface drilling program is planned for 2012 which will continue to test resource expansion targets at Semblana in addition to drill-testing the multiple high priority targets recently identified within the Neves-Corvo near mine area. Additionally, next year’s exploration program will also test several greenfield targets in the Iberian Region, as well as continued resource definition drilling at the company’s Clare exploration project in Ireland.

Lundin said it is evaluating several optimization projects and expansions of current operations, which could further increase production over the next few years. Those projects include an expansion of Neves-Corvo zinc plant, an underground materials handling study to seek optimal value from the Neves-Corvo asset and using the copper plant at Zinkgruvan to produce cinc.

Lundin stock was down over 6 percent today.

The complete operating outlook for 2012-2014 can be found here.

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