Lundin lowers guidance on mine troubles

Lundin Candelaria
Candelaria mine, Chile. Image from Lundin.

Canada’s Lundin Mining (TSX: LUN) saw profit increase in the third quarter and declared a dividend, but labour and technical disruptions forced the company to lower its guidance for three of its four operating mines.

The Toronto-based miner reported attributable net earnings of $122.4 million, or 17c per share, for the July-September period, up from $26.4 million in the same three months of 2019.

Gross profit was $199.3 million, up from $128.6 million. Lundin said the jump was driven mostly by higher realized metal prices and price adjustments, which were partially offset by lower sales volumes.

Lundin declared a dividend of C$0.04 per share, payable on December 16.

The miner cut 2020 guidance for Chapada in Brazil from 51,000-56,000 tonnes of copper to 45,000-50,000 tonnes, and from 85,000-90,000 ounces of gold to 80,000-85,000 ounces.

The new figures reflect the impact of 60 days of production at around 30% capacity after the mill suffered electrical damage in September. It expects to resume full production late this year.

Less copper, zinc

Neves-Corvo’s copper guidance went from 35,000-40,000 tonnes down to 32,000-34,000 tonnes. Expected zinc output at the Portuguese mine went from 70,000-75,000 tonnes to 70,000-72,000 tonnes, reflecting lower grades and ore availability.

The expansion project, halted since March at Neves-Corvo is scheduled for early 2021 and planned fourth quarter 2020 activities include commissioning of the SAG mill with waste.

The company also reduced expected zinc output at its Zinkgruvan mine in Sweden to between 72,000 and 74,000 tonnes.

Lundin had withdrawn its guidance for Candelaria copper-gold mine in Chile earlier this month. The operation remains suspended due to strike action over a wage dispute.

“We expect strikes at Candelaria will be resolved within a month and that Chapada can return to full capacity by year-end,” Haywood analyst, Pierre Vaillancourt, said in a note.

“For now, management does not expect the issues at both mines to carry over into 2021, so we are maintaining our outlook for the year, with Buy rating and target price of C$10.00,” he wrote.

The company expected Candelaria to produce 160,000-175,000 tonnes of copper and 90,000-100,000 ounces of gold this year on a 100% basis, according to revised guidance in April.

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