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SAG mill at Copper Mountain Mine down

Keywords: Tags  copper, Copper Mountain Mining, SAG mill, mining, Jim O'Rourke

NEW YORK — Operations at Copper Mountain Mining Corp.’s semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill at its Copper Mountain Mine in British Columbia have been temporarily suspended after one of two transformers that power the mill’s motors failed, the company said May 16.

Production is due to be back online May 18, once a transformer from a ball mill is moved to the SAG mill, Copper Mountain said.

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company expects the transformer repair to take about four weeks.

As a result, output will be limited to about 24,000 tonnes per day during that time, Copper Mountain said, vs. an average run rate of 29,000 tonnes per day in the first quarter of 2013.

"This transformer failure is an extremely unfortunate event for the operation, as our team has been making significant strides in getting our SAG mill up to full capacity," Copper Mountain president and chief executive officer Jim O’Rourke said in a statement. "Immediate metal production will be impacted, but all resources are being made to minimize the impact."

The company has informed its insurance carrier of the incident, and the transformer’s manufacturer has sent a representative to the mine site. The damaged transformer is being shipped to Edmonton, Alberta, for rebuilding.

The cause of the failure is being evaluated. No further details were available.

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