According to South32, its Cannington payable zinc equivalent production decreased by 1% (or 1.4kt) to 167.3kt in the December 2020 half year following the completion of planned surface maintenance in the September 2020 quarter.
Ore mined volumes increased by 4% during the same period with underground mine performance supporting the re-establishment of run of mine inventory.
South32 expects to accelerate the extraction of a higher-grade mining sequence during the June 2021 quarter and as a result FY21 zinc equivalent production guidance has been increased by 5% in FY21 (12,600koz for
silver, 119.2kt for lead and 61.6kt for zinc). FY22 production guidance remains unchanged.
Payable silver and lead sales increased by 7% and 19% respectively during the December 2020 half year as the operation drew down finished product inventory. In combination with the impact of a stronger Australian dollar, the movement in finished product inventory is expected to result in Operating unit costs for the December 2020 half year being approximately 10% higher than our FY21 guidance (US$111/t (Note 19)).