Aeris Resources faces production hurdles in WA and New South Wales, withdraws FY23 earnings guidance

Mid-tier base and metals producer Aeris Resources (ASX:AIS) has withdrawn its 2023 financial year earnings guidance following production headwinds over the June quarter.

The company, which has a $286.74 million market capitalisation, says while production landed largely within its guidance across its project portfolio, figures from its Mt Colin project in North Queensland and Jaguar Operations in Western Australia were soft.

At Mt Colin, copper production was hindered by a decision from Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) to defer a 70,000-tonne processing run at the Ernest Henry plant (EHM) from June until the first half of July.

Aeris claims Mt Colin was on track to meet its production guidance of between 8,000 tonnes and 9,000 tonnes of copper prior to this deferral, but final FY23 copper production ended up reaching just 7,110 tonnes. Nevertheless, the company says it had more than 100,000 tonnes of copper ore stockpiled at EHM at the end of June.

Meanwhile, at the Jaguar Operations, Aeris experienced three separate mining-induced seismic events in the lower levels of the Bentley mine. The company says these interrupted production activities and delayed access to higher-grade stopes, prompting a review of its Jaguar mine plans for FY24.

While copper production from Jaguar over FY23 met its guidance, coming in at 3,057 tonnes, zinc production topped 22,479 tonnes — falling short of Aeris’ guidance of between 24,000 tonnes and 29,000 tonnes.

Though Aeris has subsequently withdrawn its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) guidance for FY23, the company insists its operating and capital costs are still expected to land within its previous guidance.

The company will issue a full guidance update in its June quarterly report.

Aeris Resources’ copper-dominant project portfolio comprises four operating assets and a ‘highly prospective’ exploration portfolio spanning Queensland, Western Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria.

At the end of March, the company had a closing cash balance of $45.3 million, according to its last quarterly report.

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Images: Aeris Resources Ltd
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Written By Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith has years of experience in the media sector, having worked as a markets reporter, features writer, and editor since completing a Communications and Journalism degree and a Creative Writing degree. Josh is an avid board game fan and a self-professed coffee snob.