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Hudbay sees zinc output up in 2013

Keywords: Tags  Hudbay Minerals, zinc metal production, copper production, 2013 production guidance, Lalor, zinc, copper, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — Hudbay Minerals Inc. expects its zinc metal concentrate output to rise in 2013 as upgrades to its Lalor site continue, while copper concentrate production will likely fall this year, it said.

The Toronto-based company forecast zinc concentrate output of 85,000 to 100,000 tonnes in 2013, up from a 2012 production total of approximately 81,000 tonnes.

"Hudbay’s domestic zinc concentrate production in 2013, together with total year-end zinc concentrate inventory of approximately 18,000 tonnes, is expected to result in zinc plant production at levels consistent with 2012 results," Hudbay said. "The company does not expect to require new third-party purchased concentrate to achieve these production levels."

Meanwhile, the company forecast copper concentrate output of 33,000 to 38,000 tonnes in 2013, down from last year’s output of nearly 40,000 tonnes.

"Contained copper production in concentrate in 2013 is expected to decrease slightly over 2012 because of the closures of the Trout Lake and Chisel North mines in 2012 following the end of their mine lives," the company said.

Hudbay met its full-year production guidance for all metals in 2012, representing the sixth consecutive year in which it has achieved its production targets.

In addition, the company pegged total capital expenditures for 2013 at Canadian $1.2 billion ($1.25 billion).

"Hudbay is well-positioned to fund its projects with cash and cash equivalents of C$1,499 million as at Sept. 30, 2012, together with approximately U.S. $485 million in other committed funding sources," the company said.

The main production shaft at the company’s Lalor site has now been sunk to about 434 meters (1,424 feet) and is 44-percent complete. Shaft sinking is expected to be finished in the third quarter of 2013.

Ore from the Lalor site will be processed at the nearby Snow Lake concentrator once the production shaft and new concentrator are complete, which is expected in late 2014. The first full year of production is expected in 2015.

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