Despite reduced output in the third quarter Central Asia Metals is still targeting its 2015 production guidance of 12,000 tonnes of copper from its Kounrad recovery plant in Kazakhstan.

An operational incident during June, which was subsequently rectified, impacted output in the three months to September 30 but the company said the facility had achieved a new monthly record during September.

The incident saw a temporary problem with the solvent extraction process, which saw a significant quantity of material to be processed lost to the dumps.

In the third quarter 2966 tonnes of copper was produced compared to 3337 tonnes in the same period of 2014. Total 2015 output to September was 8,410 tonnes. Total sales to the end of September were 7699 tonnes compared to 7055 tonnes in the same time in 2014.

Central Asia Metals’ chief executive Nick Clarke said that when the company floated in 2010, it raised US$60 million and since had constructed the Kounrad plant on time and under budget, and produced more than 36,600 tonnes of copper at an average C1 cost of US$0.72 per pound.

“This low cash cost of production has enabled the company to pay back to shareholders via share buy-backs and dividends more than $61 million, in addition to paying more than $60 million in taxes to the Republic of Kazakhstan, an accomplishment we are most proud of in these challenging market conditions.

“Production for quarter three was slightly behind where we planned but we are now over the June operational incident and the plant is back to its planned levels of output with record production achieved in September.”