Oz Minerals forecasts increased copper and gold production in 2014

SYDNEY Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:31pm EST

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SYDNEY Jan 15 (Reuters) - Oz Minerals, Australia's third-biggest copper producer, said on Wednesday it will increase copper and gold production this calendar year after 2013 production came in at the top end of its guidance.

The company pegged 2014 copper production at 75,000-80,000 tonnes of copper and gold production at 130,000-140,000 ounces.

That is marginally above its 2013 production of 73,362 tonnes of copper and 128,045 ounces of gold.

Cash production costs in 2014 are expected to be in the range of $1.15-1.25 per pound of copper, a significant reduction from $1.796 in 2013, due to increased production and a lower proportion of waste tonnes.

The company said it expects to spend around A$22 million ($20 million) on exploration this year, with A$15 million of that in the Carrapateena region and the remaining A$7 million spread across three sites in Chile, Jamaica and Canada.

Shares of Oz Minerals closed at A$3.07 on Tuesday. The stock has rebounded from a more than 10-year low of A$2.11 in December when a disappointing outlook for its flagship Prominent Hill mine raised concerns over its growth prospects. But it has slumped 60 percent since its 12-month high of A$7.65 a year ago.

($1 = 1.1115 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Jane Wardell; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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