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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs  29 October 2010

Laos mining firm raises output

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Laos-focused miner PanAust Ltd has increased its full year production guidance after achieving record output of copper and gold in the September quarter.

The company on Tuesday said it was targeting production in 2010 of about 65,000 tonnes of copper, 55,000 ounces (oz) of gold and 500,000 oz of silver.

PanAust previously said it was aiming for between 60,000t and 63,000t of copper, 43,000 oz of gold and 300,000 oz of silver.

The miner said its flagship Phu Kham mine in Laos produced a record 16,919t of copper and 14,410 oz of gold in the three months to September 30.

It also produced 134,068 ounces of silver in concentrate during the period. "Phu Kham has produced nearly 66,000t of copper in concentrate over the past 12 months," PanAust said.

"Strong mining and production performances are expected to continue during the December quarter." The miner said the commissioning and ramp-up of its Phu Kam upgrade and Ban Houayxai gold and silver project in Laos in 2012 would lift its annual production to as much as 70,000t of copper, more than 150,000 oz of gold and over one million oz (Moz) of silver.

By 2014, it expects to further increase annual production to about 100,000t of copper and 200,000 oz of gold, with silver remaining at more than 1Moz, provided it acquires and develops the Inca de Oro copper and gold project in Chile.

PanAust said the acquisition was subject to presidential decree.

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