Dundee meets target despite Covid strain

By Hilary Mare

FOR the year 2020, Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb annual guidance was achieved despite the operation being impacted by a 30-day reduction in throughput related to Covid-19 during the second quarter, David Rae, president and CEO of the mine has said.

Rae last week highlighted that the Tsumeb smelter processed approximately 231 900 tonnes of complex concentrate in 2020.

“During the fourth quarter, approximately 52 500 tonnes of complex concentrate were processed, reflecting a four-day shutdown following the previously announced employee fatality in November, as well as maintenance activities in the converter area of the facility,” he said adding that 2020 was another milestone year for Dundee, as the miner delivered record gold production and met or exceeded its production guidance.

“Our impressive operating results throughout the year reflect outstanding efforts by our teams to effectively manage the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic while continuing to prioritise the health and safety of our workforce and local communities.”

In its other projects, Ada Tepe delivered impressive performance in 2020, producing 118 7000 gold ounces, which exceeded its gold production guidance of 94 000 to 115 000 ounces. In the fourth quarter, gold production of approximately 26 100 ounces was in line with the plan.

On the other hand, Chelopech continued its consistent track record in 2020, producing 179 600 ounces of gold and 35.6 million pounds of copper, achieving the high end of its gold production guidance of 163 000 to 184 000 ounces and meeting its guidance for copper production of 35 to 40 million pounds. Fourth quarter production of approximately 38 100 ounces of gold and 7.6 million pounds of copper was according to plan.

Rae reiterated that on December 8 2020, Dundee Precious Metals announced a 50 percent increase to its quarterly dividend from US$0.02 per share to US$0.03 per share. The increase comes less than a year after the announcement of the company’s inaugural quarterly dividend in February 2020 and reflects strong ongoing operational performance, significant free cash flow generation and a growing cash balance. The increase to US$0.03 per share will commence with the previously announced fourth quarter dividend.