OZ Minerals warns of higher power costs


OZ Minerals said it lifted copper production 21 per cent in the December quarter to meet its full-year guidance, but is warning of higher electricity costs going forward.

The miner, whose shareholders will have a chance to approve or reject BHP’s $9.6 billion takeover offer in late March or early April, said it produced a record 36,307 tonnes of copper in the fourth quarter, up 12.8 per cent from a year ago.

For the year it produced 124,065 tonnes of copper and 211,147 ounces of gold “after a challenging first half impacted by adverse weather, COVID-19 absenteeism, supply chain disruption and inflationary pressure”, chief executive and managing director Andrew Cole said. It had predicted production of 120,000 to 135,000 tonnes.

For 2023, OZ Minerals is predicting it’ll produce 120,000 to 143,000 tonnes of copper and 191,000 to 213,000 ounces of gold.

But the miner said its all-in sustaining cost will be higher due to cost inflation, a stronger Australian dollar and higher electricity costs. Its Australian mines have come off long-term electricity contracts and are now operating under market rates, Mr Cole said.

It expects its all-in sustaining cost (AISC) could be as much as $US2.07 a pound, from $1.897 in fiscal 2022.

OZ Minerals shares were unchanged at $27.90 a share.

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