Copper concentrate down at Palabora Mining

[] — PALABORA Mining on Tuesday said its daily production from the underground mine averaged 33,066 tonnes for the quarter.

Palabora, owned by Rio Tinto, said 3,008,982 tonnes of ore were hoisted during the quarter with a copper grade of 0.68%.

Ore treated was 5.4% higher compared with the previous quarter and 2.9% lower than the corresponding period in 2008. “The reduction is mainly attributed to the absence of 76.2 kt of surface oxide material,” the group said.

Copper concentrate production improved by 12.4% sequentially, but 14.8% lower year on year. This was mainly due to the reduction in the milled throughput, according to Palabora Mining.

The quarterly increase is attributable to a combination of the reclaiming and transferring of 12,628 tonnes of low-grade concentrate from the pond inventory to sale, it said.

The group reported copper in concentrate was 11.2% higher than the previous quarter and 12.6% lower than the corresponding period in 2008, mainly due to the sale of 3,193 tonnes of copper in concentrate from the concentrate ponds.

“The new concentrate smelted was mainly in line with concentrate supplied,” Palabora said.

“Magnetite production for the quarter was 20% lower than the first quarter and 30% higher year on year as a result of the commissioning of stockpile reclaims operation and improved magnetite recoveries. The reduction is mainly attributed to the reduced current arising feed to the magnetite plant due to processing of smelter secondaries blended with sulphide ore for higher copper output,” the mining company added.