During the third quarter, Mercator Minerals announced that its Mineral Park mine produced 22.2 million lb of copper equivalent, and consisted of 10.7 million lb of copper in concentrates and cathode copper, 2.5 million lb of molybdenum and 154,000 oz of silver.
“We are very pleased with production at Mineral Park for the quarter. Despite the impact of 16 days of partial downtime due to temporary capacity constraints on the mine’s power supply, Mineral Park achieved record copper equivalent production, providing a strong basis for the mine to further increase production in subsequent quarters,” said Bruce McLeod, president and CEO, Mercator Minerals. “We are particularly encouraged with the sustained improvement in copper and molybdenum recoveries, which averaged 84.5% and 82.4% respectively, as compared to targeted recoveries of 80% and 75% respectively. Recoveries have averaged 84.6% and 82.1% for copper and molybdenum since June 2012.”
Copper and molybdenum recoveries continue to be above targeted levels, averaging 84.5% and 82.4% for the quarter respectively, or 6% and 10% better than targeted recovery rates. These better than targeted recoveries are due to a number of factors including, improved flotation practices, reagents, and ore mineralogy. Recoveries were somewhat offset by less than expected average mill throughput of 42,042 tons per day due largely to unscheduled downtime associated with power constraints.
During the first week of August a scheduled warranty inspection of the gas turbine in the on-site power plant revealed some damaged components in the turbine. A leased turbine unit was installed and has been operating while the original unit is undergoing repairs. The unexpected change-out resulted in 68% less power being available to the mill for seven days during the quarter. The balance of the power supply disruptions relate to turbine downtime for follow-up inspections of the leased turbine and seasonal weather disruptions at both the utility provider and the mine site.