Uncertain outlook for Aurelia

SIX weeks ago, Aurelia Metals was confidently predicting it would deliver 85,000-95,000 ounces from its new operations at all-in sustaining costs around A$1250/oz, with wriggle room for base metal pricing movements but that has gone out the door due to the global pandemic and shafting issues at its Peak mine.
Uncertain outlook for Aurelia Uncertain outlook for Aurelia Uncertain outlook for Aurelia Uncertain outlook for Aurelia Uncertain outlook for Aurelia

Aurelia has suffered shafting issues.

Haydn Black

Reporter

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The New South Wales miner, which recently commissioned a A$53 million upgrade of Peak's ore processing circuit to maximise metal credits from processing high-grade lead-zinc ore, said the high level of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and travel restrictions made it impossible to forecast metal production and operating costs.
 
Workers for the Peak and Hera mines, both located in the Cobar region, include many living in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand.
 
With interstate and trans-Tasman travel restrictions in place, many of its fly-in/fly-out workforce is locked in place.
 
Aurelia has been trying to minimise the impact on its rosters, but the global COVID-19 response changes almost daily.
 
The company also suffered an issue with the Peak shaft, forcing it to use the decline is to transport workers and ore to surface in limited quantities. 
 
Hoisting was paused over the weekend to investigate a fault detected in the conveyance guide system.
 
Aurelia said the fault was detected early enough to prevent any risk to mine workers or the structural integrity of the shaft.
 
Initial inspections indicate that the suspended ropes that guide the conveyances were not fully tensioned causing them to lose alignment.
 
Safe access to the rope guide supports is being established to allow further inspection and determine the extent of any remedial works required, and Aurelia expects the shaft will return to operations this week.
 
Combined with impacts relating to bedding down of initial COVID-19 measures, Aurelia said its March production would now land around its December production that was 15,274oz at AISC of $1977/oz. 
 
The miner had produced 44,581oz at AISC of $1358/oz for the year to date ending December 31. 
 
Aurelia gets around 60% of its revenue from gold and 40% from copper, lead and zinc. December quarter revenue was $73 million.
 
Gold sales and base metal concentrate shipment schedules remain unaffected so far, Aurelia said.
 
The miner has net cash of A$64 million and no debt to tide it over.
 
Shares in the miner were off 9% to 24.5c, valuing Aurelia at $214 million.