Power outage damages equipment at Lundin’s Chapada mine in Brazil

Yamana Gold’s Chapada copper-gold mine in Brazil. Credit: Yamana Gold.Lundin Mining’s Chapada copper-gold mine in Brazil. Credit: Yamana Gold.

Lundin Mining (TSX: LUN) has withdrawn its 2020 production, cash cost and capital expenditure guidance for its Chapada copper and gold mine in northern Brazil after a power outage caused damage to all four of the operation’s SAG and ball mill motors.

The company said that the operation, 270 km northwest of the capital Brasilia, suffered a power outage on the morning of Sept. 27. When power was restored, the main electrical substation’s protection system failed, Lundin said, resulting in significant damage to the motors.

Lundin is assessing the damage and said early indications are that the motors will need extensive repair work. The operation has two spare motors: one is onsite, and the other is offsite undergoing rehabilitation work and could be available in eight to ten days. The company said it expects to resolve the issue in the fourth quarter.

The company is assessing the potential for a staged resumption of operations using these two motors to run the SAG mill and bypass the ball mill, allowing the plant to run at about 30% of nameplate capacity, albeit at likely reduced recoveries. (Nameplate capacity for the processing facility is 65,000 tonnes per day.)

While Lundin has withdrawn its full-year guidance, it expects the mine will produce between 51,000-56,000 tonnes copper and 70,000-75,000 oz. gold in 2021.

Following the news, Raymond James lowered its share price target for Lundin from $9 per share to $8.50, but maintained its market perform rating for the company.

The brokerage firm also revised its 2020 production estimate to 43,000 tonnes copper and 70,000 oz. gold, down from its previous estimate of 53,000 tonnes copper and 86,000 oz. gold.

At press time in Toronto, Lundin was trading at $7.07 per share within a 52-week trading range of $4.08 and $8.59.

The company has 734 million common shares outstanding for a $5.2-billion market capitalization.


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