LONDON Mining and metals
company Nyrstar NV has reported an 8-percent quarter-on-quarter
fall in zinc-in-concentrate production for first-quarter
was hit by the temporary suspension of mining activities at the
Campo Morado Mine in Mexico, although the company is
maintaining its full-year guidance for all metals.
Production of zinc in
concentrate from the companys mines came to 68,000 tonnes
in the three months ended March 31, the Zurich-based company
The Campo Morado Mine suspended
operations in February and March due to the temporary
cancellation of the sites explosives permit, it added,
and operations restarted in early April.
A recovery plan is now in place
to catch up on production during the year.
"Confidence in the recovery plan
is in part based on the significant improvements in zinc,
copper and gold grades and recoveries during December 2012 and
January 2013, following the (optimization) program at Campo
Morado in (the second half of) 2012," Nyrstar said. "While not
expected to have a material impact on full-year mining segment
performance, the suspension has had an impact on
(first-quarter) mining production volumes."
The company was also hit by low
delivery volumes from Talvivaara in Finland, which led to a
fall in total zinc in concentrate of 15 percent compared with
fourth-quarter 2012. The first quarter total for 2013 came to
Zinc metal production was
263,000 tonnes in the first quarter, compared with 281,000
tonnes in the fourth quarter of 2012. Full-year zinc metal
guidance remains at about 1 million tonnes.
At the El Toqui Mine in Chile,
the company shifted its focus from mining high gold to mining
high zinc and lead ore faces, leading to a significant
improvement in zinc-in-concentrate volumes.
In Canada, at the Langlois Mine,
the companys focus is now on optimization following the
ramp-up of operations in the first half of 2012.
First-quarter production of
other metals in concentrate, including copper, silver and gold,
was also affected by the Campo Morado suspension.
Gold production was hit by the
change of focus at El Toqui, as well as the stockpiling of the
majority of its gold to be processed into a higher-margin
doré product in the second half.
Lead metal production at the
Port Pirie smelter in Australia was down 11 percent quarter on
quarter in the first three months of 2013 following an
unplanned shutdown at the blast furnace for the installation of
Meanwhile, copper cathode and
gold production at the site were both up 67 percent and 38
percent, respectively, quarter on quarter, while silver
production was down 11 percent because of the blast furnace
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletin.