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Copper Mountain output down 5 percent

Keywords: Tags  copper, Copper Mountain Mining, second quarter, mill production, Mitsubishi Materials, semi-autogenous grinding mill, Everdeen Mason

NEW YORK — Copper Mountain Mining Corp.’s namesake project saw copper output fall 5 percent year over year in the second quarter following a transformer failure that shut down its semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill in mid-May.

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company produced 15.7 million pounds of copper, 5,600 ounces of gold and 71,000 ounces of silver at its Copper Mountain Mine near Princeton, British Columbia, during the three months ended June 30, it said July 11. During the same period last year, the company produced 16.6 million pounds of copper, 4,500 ounces of gold and 113,500 ounces of silver.

In the second quarter of 2013, Copper Mountain shipped 28,200 wet metric tonnes (wmt) of concentrates containing 14.7 million pounds of copper as well as 5,500 ounces of gold and 66,000 ounces of silver, earning $53.5 million in gross revenue, the company reported.

The lower output comes as the company temporarily halted production on May 16 after a transformer at the SAG mill was damaged; the next day, it resumed production at a lower capacity until the equipment was repaired and reinstalled (, June 10). The mill produced an average of 25,400 tonnes of copper product per day during the repair period, compared with an average run rate of 29,000 tonnes per day in the first quarter, it said at the time.

"Mill improvements were achieved during the quarter, in spite of the mill transformer loss time incident in mid-May," Copper Mountain said in its second-quarter operations update. "Further improvements with high-energy blasting and contract crushing ahead of the SAG mill are expected to be reflected in the third quarter."

Copper Mountain’s majority-owned mine is relatively new, having commenced production in the summer of 2011. The 18,000-acre site, of which Mitsubishi Materials Corp. owns 25 percent, has resources of 5 billion pounds of copper, the company said.

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