Source - SMW
Atalaya Mining posts a pre-tax loss of €6.4m for the six months to the end of June - down from €15.8m last time.

Period highlights:

-      The Expansion Project was declared mechanically complete during the first week of May 2016, ahead of schedule and under budget.

-     The ramp-up process progressed according to plan.  Copper production increased by 10% in Q2 2016 to 4,442 tonnes, compared with 4,048 tonnes in Q1 2016.  The 10% increase in production during the second quarter was significant considering the plant was temporarily shut down as a result of both the tailings discharge suspension by the Junta de Andalucía and the interruptions required to commission the Expansion Project. 

-      1.3 million tonnes of ore were processed, compared with 1.1 million tonnes during Q1 2016, representing a 15% increase.  Production levels in June 2016 increased to an annualised rate of 6.8Mtpa, in line with the ramp-up schedule.  This trend continued in August 2016 with annualised rate equivalent to 8.3Mtpa.

-      Copper grade in the final concentrate was consistent with the previous quarter, reporting 21.43% in Q2 2016 as compared to 21.33% for Q1 2016. Recoveries were lower at 80.46% during Q2 2016, compared with 84.26% during Q1 2016.  Recoveries increased back to over 84% during July and August, which is the expected rate of the new flotation circuit.

-     Atalaya announced commercial production in February 2016 with revenues of €17.7 million and €22.6 million for the three months and six months period, respectively.  Negative EBITDA of €1.1 million and €3.6 million was recorded for the three months and six months period respectively.  EBITDA values were significantly impacted by ramp-up of production but have improved in Q2 2016 as compared to Q1 2016 and are expected to improve further in Q3 2016.

-      The average market prices of copper for the three and six months ended 30 June 2016 amounted to US$2.21/lb for the second quarter and US$2.16/lb for the six months.  The Company's realised copper prices for the same periods were US$2.11/lb and US$2.06/lb respectively.  As commercial production was declared in February 2016, no comparative operational data was available for 2015.

-      Operating cash costs per pound of payable copper were negatively impacted by the normal ramp-up process and the temporary suspension.  Cash costs for Q2 2016 were $2.36/lb whereas for H1 2016 were $2.31/lb.  These costs are projected to come down as nameplate capacity is reached and steady state production is achieved.

-      Inventories of concentrates at 30 June 2016 amounted to €6.2 million.

-      Capital expenditure for the six months ending 30 June 2016 amounted to €17.1 million.

Chief executive Alberto Lavandeirasaid: "We continue to be satisfied with the rapid progress of the successful commissioning of the plant expansion.  The Company experienced a couple of isolated operational incidences that together with the weak copper price have adversely affected the operations and results.  

"We nevertheless remain confident that with the ramp up of the expansion and with steady throughput being rapidly achieved, the Company is moving to positive cash generation in the coming months.  We continue to remain bullish on the long term outlook for copper."

At 9:28am: (LON:ATYM) Atalaya Mining Plc share price was -12p at 76p