PERTH (miningweekly.com) - Copper miner Aditya Birla has reported a 17% production increase for the quarter ended December with ore mined increasing to some 700 356 t as production restarted at the Mount Gordon operations, in Queensland.
Around 686 120 t of ore was processed during the quarter, a 23% increase over the previous corresponding quarter. However, copper production was only slightly higher at 15 414 t, compared with the 15 077 t in the previous corresponding quarter, as lower-than-expected ore grades were encountered.
Production ramp-up at the Mount Gordon operation was continuing, as the mine was brought back into production after being on care and maintenance. Aditya Birla noted, however, that the ramp-up was “significantly below” the expected level, owing to the underperformance of the underground mining contractor and the challenges with regard to the availability of skilled personnel.
During the quarter under review, the Mount Gordon project mined some 160 380 t of ore and 165 950 t of ore was milled. The operation produced 3 797 t of copper in concentrate.
Copper production at the Nifty mine was 11 617 t, compared with the 15 077 t produced in the previous corresponding quarter. Ore production at the site decreased mainly owing to the poor availability of loaders and certain technical issues with the mining of secondary and tertiary stopes.