Atalaya Mining was up 5% on the release of its 3rd quarter results this morning. The company has increased its 2018 production guidance from 37,000 - 40,000 tonnes to 39,000 - 41,000 tonnes of copper as a result of improved recoveries, ore grade and throughput.

Production at the company’s fully owned Proyecto Riotinto site in southwest Spain was up 4% in Q3 2018 compared with the same period last year. The quarter replaces Q2 2018 as the highest quarterly production on record. Year on year, the nine-month period to 30th September has seen an 8% increase in copper production with a 10% increase in ore processed in the period.

The company is in the process of expanding operations at Proyecto Riotinto to 15 Million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) and reports that the project is progressing to schedule. Engineering activities are essentially complete and site construction is ‘picking up’. Civil engineering works are progressing with main activities now concentrated on completion of the new  SAG (Semi-Autogenous Grinding) area and the crusher and coarse stockpile buildings. Completion of the expansion project is expected towards the end of Q2 2019.

In addition, the company has an earn-in agreement to procure up to 80% of a brownfield copper project in northwestern Spain called Proyecto Touro. Atalaya currently has an initial 10%  stake in the owner of the project, Cobre San Rafael, S.L.  Proyecto Touro is still at the permitting stage, and Atalaya states additional studies and detailed reports addressing recommendations from the public hearing process were formally submitted to the authorities in Q3.

Atalaya reports revenues of €42.8 million in Q3 2018 compared with €35.7 million during Q3 2017 on higher sales volumes owing to the timing of sales as well as higher realised prices. There has been an even more dramatic increase in revenue for the nine month period ended 30 September 2018, increasing to €144.4 million compared with €114.8 million for the same period last year. The company cites increased volumes sold and higher copper prices as the primary drivers. The realised copper price increased to $2.89/lb last quarter compared with $2.66/lb in Q3 2017.

Alberto Lavandeira, CEO said:

"We are pleased to have increased our production guidance for 2018 following a very positive nine months of 2018. We have achieved record production and recovery levels, operating costs within our stated guidance during a period where copper prices have also been robust. The Riotinto plant is operating well and our expansion plans are well on track. Once complete, we will see an improvement in operational efficiencies and a reduction in maintenance requirements and operating cash costs."

Author: Stuart Langelaan

Disclosure: The Author does not own shares in the company mentioned above