TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Vancouver-based Quadra FNX Mining increased second-quarter copper production by 20% compared with the first three months of the year, and still expects to meet its full-year forecast of within 10% of 240-million pounds.
Shares in the company rose seven percent on Monday, to C$16.11 apiece by 12:39 in Toronto.
Quadra FNX, which was formed last year through a merger of Canadian miners Quadra Mining and FNX Mining, produced 55-million pounds of copper, 27 000 oz of precious metals and two-million pounds of nickel in the second quarter.
The company, which had struggled with various operational and weather-related problems at its mines in Chile, Canada and the US in previous quarters, said it is seeing significantly improved grades at the Robinson mine in Nevada.
The Franke operation in Chile is also back at full mining capacity after switching from contractor to owner mining, and all three operations in Sudbury, Ontario, had better-than-expected copper production in the second quarter, CEO Paul Blythe said.
“Our production profile improved through the second quarter as optimization initiatives at our operations began to deliver positive results and we expect this trend to continue in the second half of the year,” Blythe said in a statement.
Quadra FNX also announced on Monday that it has restarted nickel ore mining at its McCreedy West operation, after Brazilian miner Vale agreed to waive its rights to the ore.
FNX halted nickel ore production in 2008, in response to weak demand and prices for the metal, and has been focusing on copper- and precious-metals-rich ore since then.
The company has a processing agreement covering all its production with Vale (formerly Vale Inco), and had said previously that the processing terms made restarting the nickel operations unviable.
The issue centred on the magnesium-oxide content of the waste rock which forms part of the ore that would get delivered to Vale, COO Michael Winship said in November.
Vale has waived its right to the high magnesium oxide nickel ores from McCreedy West for three years.
Quadra FNX has started negotiations to sell the ore to another party and nickel-ore mining has started at the mine to provide a bulk sample.