In its latest earnings report, MMG reported a net profit after tax of $113.7 million, representing $206.7 million more than the corresponding reporting period for 2016. The company said its net debt was reduced by $868.2 million during the first half of the year on the back of strong cash generation.

The results were driven by strong output at Las Bambas with 218,440 metric tons (mt) of copper in copper concentrate produced in the first half, and 430,054 mt produced since July 2016, its first year of commercial operations. Across all operations, MMG produced 290,758 mt of copper and 37,519 mt of zinc in the first half of 2017.

“Increased copper sales volumes from Las Bambas, higher commodity prices and our pursuit of group-wide efficiencies have contributed to the strong financial result for the first half,” MMG CEO Jerry Jiao said. “The ramp up of Las Bambas has been an outstanding success. We are committed to further optimizing the operation, increasing efficiencies and reducing costs.”

“Across MMG we are implementing a number of cost reduction programs, the full benefits of which will be realized from 2018,” he added.

Over the first six months of the year, the company’s focus has been on reducing debt and further simplifying and optimizing the asset portfolio, as MMG prepares to bring its Dugald River zinc project into production this year.

“Since the beginning of the year, we have completed the sale of Golden Grove, Century and Avebury. We have also made significant progress in the construction of Dugald River,” Jiao said.

He added that Dugald River is ahead of schedule with production of first concentrate expected late this year. Dugald River is expected to rank within the top 10 zinc mines in the world when operational, with annual production of approximately 170,000 mt of zinc in zinc concentrate, plus byproducts. MMG anticipates producing 560,000 mt-615,000 mt of copper and 65,000 mt-72,000 mt of zinc in 2017.