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Revett logs 29% drop in 2012 copper production

Keywords: Tags  Revett Minerals. copper, silver, Troy Mine, John Shanahan, Rock Creek project

NEW YORK — Junior copper-silver miner Revett Minerals Inc. recorded a sharp pullback in output last year as production issues continued to plague the company’s flagship Troy Mine in northwestern Montana.

Spokane Valley, Wash.-based Revett produced nearly 7.56 million pounds of copper, down 29 percent from 10.65 million pounds in 2011, and silver output slid 13.9 percent to 1.11 million ounces from 1.29 million ounces.

Revett partially attributed the decline to "unusually high spring runoff" during the first quarter, which limited the company’s access to its main producing areas. Also impacting output was the company’s decision to temporarily suspend mining activities late in the fourth quarter due to "unstable and unsafe ground conditions."

The company expects to resume production at the Troy Mine sometime in the second quarter, it said March 11.

Revett also intends to move forward this year with permitting for a planned copper-silver mine in Rock Creek, Mont. The U.S. Forest Service is working to complete a supplemental environmental impact statement for the project, which is expected to be released for public comment at midyear. The company also is in the process of securing additional supporting permits required for the first phase of the planned mine.

"Despite the difficulties we have recently encountered at the Troy Mine, we remain focused on our goal of being the safest and best operator we can be at Troy, and to bringing the Rock Creek project to fruition," president and chief executive officer John Shanahan said in a statement announcing the company’s year-end results.

Revett posted 2012 net income of $4.1 million, down 69.6 percent from $13.5 million the previous year, on sales that fell 15.5 percent to $59.2 million. In addition to lower output and sales, the company’s financial results also were negatively impacted by higher fuel prices, increased labor costs and higher repair and maintenance costs, the company said.

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