Lundin Mining Corporation
TSX : LUN
OMX : LUMI

Lundin Mining Corporation

July 27, 2016 17:45 ET

Lundin Mining Second Quarter Results

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 27, 2016) - Lundin Mining Corporation ("Lundin Mining" or the "Company") (TSX:LUN)(OMX:LUMI) today reported cash flows of $153.2 million generated from operations in the quarter, not including the Company's attributable cash flows from Tenke Fungurume. A net loss attributable to Lundin shareholders of $791.2 million ($1.10 per share) for the quarter ended June 30, 2016, included an asset impairment on the Company's interest in Tenke of $772.1 million.

Mr. Paul Conibear, President and CEO commented, "Our operations continued to perform very well during the quarter, positioning us to meet or improve upon full year guidance on metal production, capital spending, and cash costs. Positive cash flow generated at all operations has enabled the Company to further strengthen our financial position, with our net debt improving by almost $100 million during the quarter.

"We are pleased to announce that we have received the first of two key approvals necessary to commence construction of the main Los Diques dam at Candelaria, and that the second is expected shortly.

"As we progress through 2016 and beyond, we intend to maintain focus on consistent high performance at our operations, cost efficiencies, capital discipline, and brownfields growth available at each of our operations. During the quarter, we reached a milestone with the announcement of a maiden resource for the Eagle East high grade nickel/copper deposit and access ramp development has commenced based on favourable study results."

Summary financial results for the quarter and year-to-date:

Three months ended
June 30,
Six months ended
June 30,
US$ Millions (except per share amounts) 2016 2015 2016 2015
Sales 342.3 501.3 711.9 1,032.8
Operating earnings(1) 134.5 243.0 286.3 517.0
Impairments (772.1 ) - (772.1 ) -
Net (loss) / earnings (787.9 ) 53.7 (803.4 ) 137.0
Net (loss) / earnings attributable to Lundin shareholders (791.2 ) 46.4 (813.3 ) 118.1
Basic and diluted (loss) / earnings per share (1.10 ) 0.06 (1.13 ) 0.16
Cash flow from operations 153.2 262.7 196.1 486.6
Ending net debt position(2) 341.9 497.2 341.9 497.2
(1) Operating earnings is a non-GAAP measure defined as sales, less operating costs (excluding depreciation) and general and administrative costs.
(2) Net debt is a non-GAAP measure defined as cash and cash equivalents, less long-term debt and finance leases, before deferred financing fees.

Highlights

Operational Performance

For the second quarter of 2016, production and cash costs(1) results were favourable as the Company continues with its production optimization and spending restraint measures, but financial results were negatively impacted by a lower metal price environment, when compared to the prior year. The Company remains on track to meet or exceed full year guidance across all operations.

Candelaria (80% owned): The Candelaria operations produced, on a 100% basis, 36,907 tonnes of copper, approximately 345,000 ounces of silver and 22,000 ounces of gold in concentrate. As expected in this year's mine plan, copper production was 21% lower than the prior year comparable period due to lower head grades and recoveries. Copper cash costs of $1.28/lb for the quarter were marginally higher than the prior year, but better than full year guidance due to cost reduction plans, operational efficiencies, lower electricity and diesel prices, increased productivity, and higher sales volumes.

Early works on the Los Diques tailings project continue under budget and on schedule. To date, approximately $25 million has been spent on the project in 2016 with a further $35 million expected over the remainder of the year. The existing tailings dam freeboard permit has now been granted, which enables an extra year of capacity in the existing facility. We are also pleased to report that Sernageomin, Chile's National Geology and Mining Service, has now approved the construction of the main Los Diques tailings facility. Subsequent approval from Dirección General de Aguas ("DGA"), Chile's General Water Directorate, is expected shortly now that the prerequisite Sernageomin approval has been received.

Eagle (100% owned): Eagle produced 6,812 tonnes of nickel and 5,639 tonnes of copper in the current quarter, higher than the prior year comparable period for both metals due to higher head grades and recoveries. Nickel cash costs of $1.75/lb for the quarter were lower than the comparable period in the prior year and guidance due largely to cost control measures, excellent nickel and copper production results, and lower treatment costs.

On June 29, 2016 a maiden Eagle East Inferred Mineral Resource estimate was announced. Given the positive results from a Preliminary Economic Assessment, a Feasibility Study has been initiated and construction of a development ramp has been approved. The Eagle East access ramp has been started, supporting the fast track approach adopted for the project.

Neves-Corvo (100% owned): Neves-Corvo produced 12,146 tonnes of copper and 18,272 tonnes of zinc in the second quarter. Copper production was lower than the prior year comparable period due to lower mill throughput and lower recoveries, while zinc production in the quarter exceeded the prior year comparable period as a result of higher throughput, grades and recoveries. Zinc plant operations exceeded expectations year-to-date with stable, better than expected zinc recoveries. Copper cash costs of $1.49/lb for the quarter were marginally higher than the prior year comparable period, but lower than previous guidance ($1.60/lb).

Zinkgruvan (100% owned): Zinc and lead production in the second quarter of 2016 were 19% and 4% lower, respectively, than the comparable period in 2015, partially as a result of lower throughput due to harder ore milled and lower zinc head grades in the current period. Cash costs for zinc of $0.34/lb for the quarter were better than both the prior year comparable period and previous guidance ($0.45/lb) due primarily to higher by-product credits.

Tenke (24% owned): Tenke operations continue to perform well, generally meeting expectations for the quarter. Lundin's attributable share of second quarter production included 13,300 tonnes of copper cathode and 1,033 tonnes of cobalt in hydroxide. The Company's attributable share of sales included 13,539 tonnes of copper at an average realized price of $2.07/lb and 1,011 tonnes of cobalt at an average realized price of $6.58/lb.

(1) Cash cost/lb of copper, zinc and nickel are non-GAAP measures defined as all cash costs directly attributable to mining operations, less royalties and by-product credits.

Financial Performance

  • Operating earnings for the quarter ended June 30, 2016 were $134.5 million, a decrease of $108.5 million in comparison to the second quarter of the prior year ($243.0 million). The decrease was primarily due to lower metal prices, net of price adjustments ($72.9 million) and lower sales volumes ($36.5 million).

    On a year-to-date basis, operating earnings were $286.3 million, a decrease of $230.7 million in comparison to the first six months of 2015 ($517.0 million). The decrease was primarily due to lower metal prices, net of price adjustments ($153.4 million), lower sales volumes ($64.7 million), and the shutdown of the Aguablanca operations ($28.4 million).
  • Sales for the quarter ended June 30, 2016 were $342.3 million, a decrease of $159.0 million in comparison to the second quarter of the prior year ($501.3 million). The decrease was mainly due to lower metal prices, net of price adjustments, lower sales volumes ($70.7 million), and the shutdown of the Aguablanca operations ($24.7 million).

    On a year-to-date basis, sales were $711.9 million, a decrease of $320.9 million in comparison to the first six months of 2015 ($1,032.8 million). The decrease was mainly due to lower metal prices, net of price adjustments, lower sales volumes ($123.5 million), and the shutdown of the Aguablanca operations ($53.2 million).
  • Operating costs (excluding depreciation) for the quarter ended June 30, 2016 were $202.2 million, a decrease of $49.4 million in comparison to the second quarter of the prior year ($251.6 million). The decrease was largely due to lower sales volumes ($34.2 million) and the shutdown of the Aguablanca operations ($13.3 million).

    On a year-to-date basis, operating costs (excluding depreciation) were $412.5 million, a decrease of $89.7 million in comparison to the first six months of 2015 ($502.2 million). The decrease was largely due to lower sales volumes ($58.8 million) and the shutdown of the Aguablanca operations ($24.8 million).
  • Depreciation, depletion and amortization expense decreased for the three and six months ended June 30, 2016 when measured against the comparable period in 2015. The decrease was attributable to lower production in the current year at Candelaria and an increase in the Candelaria Mineral Resources & Reserves Estimate (Q2: $31.4 million, YTD: $55.2 million), and the shutdown of the Aguablanca operations (Q2: $6.6 million, YTD: $11.3 million).
  • Cash flow from operations for the quarter ended June 30, 2016 was $153.2 million, a decrease of $109.5 million in comparison to the second quarter of the prior year ($262.7 million). The decrease was primarily due to lower operating earnings in the current quarter.

    On a year-to-date basis, cash flow from operations was $196.1 million, a decrease of $290.5 million in comparison to the first six months of 2015 ($486.6 million). The decrease was attributable to lower operating earnings in the current year ($230.7 million) as well as changes in non-cash working capital and long-term inventory ($73.9 million).
  • During the second quarter, Freeport announced that it intends to sell its interest in Tenke. This was identified as an impairment indicator. The Company has re-estimated the recoverable amount of its interest in Tenke and as a result an impairment loss of $772.1 million was recorded in the period.

Net loss for the quarter ended June 30, 2016 was $787.9 million compared to net earnings of $53.7 million in the second quarter of the prior year, primarily as a result of the impairment loss of $772.1 million, as discussed above. Before the impact of the impairment, net loss for the current quarter was $15.8 million, which was impacted by:

  • lower operating earnings ($108.5 million); and
  • lower income from investment in Tenke ($9.8 million); partially offset by
  • lower depreciation, depletion and amortization expense ($42.3 million); and
  • comparative foreign exchange gains ($9.5 million).

On a year-to-date basis, net loss was $803.4 million, compared to the first six months of 2015 (net earnings of $137.0 million). Net loss in the current year was impacted by:

  • impairment of investment in Tenke ($772.1 million);
  • lower operating earnings ($230.7 million);
  • lower income from investment in Tenke ($24.0 million); and
  • comparative foreign exchange losses ($12.7 million); partially offset by
  • lower depreciation, depletion and amortization expense ($79.8 million); and
  • lower net tax expense ($22.8 million).

Corporate Highlights

• On May 9, 2016, Freeport-McMoRan Inc. ("Freeport") announced that it had entered into an agreement to sell its indirect interest in TF Holdings Limited ("TF Holdings") to China Molybdenum Co., Ltd ("CMOC"), which is subject to, among other things, Lundin's right of first offer.

TF Holdings is the holding company that indirectly owns an 80 percent interest in Tenke Fungurume Mining S.A. Lundin has an indirect 30 percent interest in TF Holdings and an effective 24 percent interest in Tenke.

On July 19, 2016, the Company announced that the period in which the Company has the right to acquire Freeport's indirect interest in TF Holdings had been extended to September 15, 2016 at 11:59 pm.

The Company, in consultation with its legal and financial advisors, continues to evaluate all its options in connection with its ownership interest in TF Holdings.

• On June 29, 2016, the Company announced a maiden Eagle East Inferred Mineral Resource estimate. Eagle East is located 2 km east and 650 metres below the Eagle mine deposit. The Company also announced the results of a Preliminary Economic Assessment that indicate that these Inferred Mineral Resources can potentially be mined with no significant changes to the current mine, ore transport, mill and tailings disposal infrastructure.

Similar mining methods to Eagle are proposed and the potential mine production will significantly increase nickel and copper production from 2020 and extend the mine life to at least the end of 2023.

Given the robust results of the Preliminary Economic Assessment, the Company has initiated a Feasibility Study on Eagle East, which is due for completion prior to year-end. In parallel, the Company has also commenced ramp development to Eagle East in order to fast track access to the deposit.

Refer to the new release entitled "Lundin Mining Announces Eagle East Mineral Resources, PEA Results and Project Commencement" on the Company's website (www.lundinmining.com).

Financial Position and Financing

  • Net debt position at June 30, 2016 was $341.9 million compared to $441.3 million at December 31, 2015 and $438.1 million at March 31, 2016.
  • The $96.2 million decrease in net debt during the quarter was largely attributable to operating cash flows of $153.2 million and receipt of distributions from Tenke of $14.6 million, partially offset by investments in mineral properties, plant and equipment of $38.8 million and net interest payments of $38.3 million.

    For the six months ended June 30, 2016, net debt decreased by $99.4 million due primarily to operating cash flows of $196.1 million and receipt of distributions from Tenke and Freeport Cobalt of $15.4 million and $6.3 million, respectively, partially offset by investments in mineral properties, plant and equipment of $86.3 million and net interest payments of $38.9 million.
  • The Company has a revolving credit facility available for borrowing up to $350 million. As at June 30, 2016, the Company had no amount drawn on the credit facility, only a letter of credit in the amount of $19.1 million (SEK 162 million).
  • Net debt at July 27, 2016 is approximately $385 million.

Outlook

Market Conditions

Production optimization, cost saving and cost deferral programs remain in place, pending improvements in market conditions. As metal prices improve, spending restraint programs will be reassessed.

2016 Production and Cost Guidance

  • Copper production guidance has increased to reflect higher than expected throughput at our Candelaria operations.
  • Cash cost guidance has been lowered at our Candelaria, Neves-Corvo and Zinkgruvan operations, reflecting the expected full year impact of cost savings initiatives and overall operating performance improvements.
  • Guidance on Tenke's cash costs reflect the most recent guidance from Freeport.
2016 Guidance Previous Guidance(a) Revised Guidance
(contained tonnes) Tonnes C1
Cost
Tonnes C1
Cost
(b)
Copper Candelaria (80%) 124,000 - 128,000 $1.45/lb 128,000 - 132,000 $1.35/lb
Eagle 20,000 - 23,000 20,000 - 23,000
Neves-Corvo 50,000 - 55,000 $1.60/lb 50,000 - 55,000 $1.55/lb
Zinkgruvan 2,500 - 3,000 2,500 - 3,000
Tenke (24%) 52,800 $1.32/lb 52,800 $1.28/lb
Total attributable 249,300 - 261,800 253,300 - 265,800
Nickel Eagle 21,000 - 24,000 $2.00/lb 21,000 - 24,000 $2.00/lb
Zinc Neves-Corvo 65,000 - 70,000 65,000 - 70,000
Zinkgruvan 80,000 - 85,000 $0.45/lb 80,000 - 85,000 $0.40/lb
Total 145,000 - 155,000 145,000 - 155,000
  1. Guidance as outlined in our Management's Discussion and Analysis for the three months ended March 31, 2016.
  2. Cash costs remain dependent upon exchange rates (forecast at EUR/USD:1.15, USD/SEK:8.30, USD/CLP:690) and metal prices (forecast at Cu: $2.10/lb, Ni: $4.00/lb, Zn: $0.80/lb, Pb: $0.75/lb, Au: $1,150/oz, Ag: $15.00/oz, Co: $11.00/lb). Prior guidance assumed exchange rates of EUR/USD:1.10 and USD/SEK:8.50 and metal prices of Zn: $0.75/lb and Co: $10.00/lb.

2016 Capital Expenditure

Capital expenditures (excluding Tenke) for 2016 are expected to be $185 million. This is a $35 million reduction from the previous guidance and is largely the result of further project deferrals and cost savings measures at Candelaria and Neves-Corvo.

The Company estimates its share of sustaining capital funding for 2016 at Tenke to be approximately $25 million, unchanged from previous guidance. All of Tenke's capital expenditures and exploration programs are expected to be self-funded by cash flow from operations. After capital expenditures, the Company expects to receive cash distributions from Tenke and Freeport Cobalt in 2016 of approximately $50 million to $60 million, in-line with previous guidance.

Revised Capital Expenditure Guidance
($ millions) Prior Guidance(a) Revisions Revised Guidance
by Mine
Candelaria
Los Diques Tailings 70 (10 ) 60
Capitalized Stripping 35 (5 ) 30
Other Sustaining 15 (5 ) 10
120 (20 ) 100
Eagle 10 - 10
Neves-Corvo 55 (15 ) 40
Zinkgruvan 35 - 35
220 (35 ) 185
(a) - Guidance as outlined in our Management's Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2015.

Exploration Investment

The Company's exploration expenditures (not including Tenke) are expected to approximate $50 million in 2016, a $10 million increase over previous guidance as additional efforts will be undertaken on near-mine targets at Candelaria and Eagle.

On Behalf of the Board,

Paul Conibear, President and CEO

The information in this release is subject to the disclosure requirements of Lundin Mining under the EU Market Abuse Regulation. This information was publically communicated on July 27, 2016 at 5:45 p.m. Eastern Time.

Cautionary Statement in Forward-Looking Information and Non-GAAP performance measures

Certain of the statements made and information contained herein is "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. This report includes, but is not limited to, forward looking statements with respect to the Company's estimated annual metal production, cash costs, exploration expenditures and capital expenditures, as noted in the Outlook section and elsewhere in this document. These estimates and other forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual events or results to differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, risks and uncertainties relating to estimated operating and cash costs, foreign currency fluctuations; risks inherent in mining including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, unusual or unexpected geological formations, ground control problems and flooding; including risks associated with the estimation of mineral resources and reserves and the geology, grade and continuity of mineral deposits; the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with the Company's expectations; the potential for and effects of labour disputes or other unanticipated difficulties with or shortages of labour or interruptions in production; actual ore mined varying from estimates of grade, tonnage, dilution and metallurgical and other characteristics; the inherent uncertainty of production and cost estimates and the potential for unexpected costs and expenses, and commodity price fluctuations; uncertain political and economic environments; changes in laws or policies, foreign taxation, delays or the inability to obtain necessary governmental permits; and other risks and uncertainties, including those described under Risk Factors Relating to the Company's Business in the Company's Annual Information Form. In addition, forward-looking information is based on various assumptions including, without limitation, the expectations and beliefs of management, the assumed price of copper, nickel, zinc and other metals; that the Company can access financing, appropriate equipment and sufficient labour and that the political environment where the Company operates will continue to support the development and operation of mining projects. Should one or more of these risks and uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in forward-looking statements. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Certain financial measures contained herein, such as operating earnings, net debt and cash costs, have no meaning within generally accepted accounting principles under IFRS and therefore amounts presented may not be comparable to similar data presented by other mining companies. This data is intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures or performance prepared in accordance with IFRS.

Contact Information

  • Lundin Mining Corporation
    Mark Turner
    Director, Business Valuations and Investor Relations
    +1-416-342-5565

    Lundin Mining Corporation
    Sonia Tercas
    Senior Associate, Investor Relations North America
    +1-416-342-5583

    Lundin Mining Corporation
    Robert Eriksson
    Investor Relations Sweden
    +46 8 545 015 50