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Copper Mountain SAG mill back online

Keywords: Tags  copper, Copper Mountain, SAG mill, Anne Riley

NEW YORK — Operations resumed at Copper Mountain Mining Corp.’s semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill in British Columbia late May 17 after an earlier transformer failure temporarily idled the operation (, May 17).

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company said it was able to bring the SAG mill and one ball mill at the site back online one day ahead of schedule by replacing the damaged transformer with an identical transformer from the facility’s other ball mill.

Production from the restarted mill over the weekend was better than forecast, the company said, noting that the SAG mill and single ball mill operated at an average rate of 25,400 tonnes per day compared with an average run rate of 29,000 tonnes per day in the first quarter of 2013.

"We are extremely pleased with our mine site teams’ ability to work quickly and effectively to get the SAG mill operational one full day ahead of our original estimate and at an increased throughput rate," Copper Mountain president and chief executive officer Jim O’Rourke said in a statement.

Copper Mountain said the exact cause of the failure is being investigated by supplier ABB as well as a third-party consultant. The damaged transformer was trucked to ABB’s transformer facility in Edmonton, Alberta, for repair, which the company expects to take two and a half weeks. ABB also will manufacture a full set of replacement coils costing C$125,000 ($121,000) for any future replacement needs.

A company spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

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