Inmet Mining‘s (IMN-T) 18%-owned Ok Tedi copper mine in Papua New Guinea will operate at a minimum of half-capacity for at least the next two months after the failure of one of the operation’s two semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mills.
Ok Tedi, the mine operator, is currently investigating the cause of the failure and the extent of repairs required. The mine’s other SAG mill, which was substantially rebuilt in early 2003, remains unaffected.
During the recent fourth quarter, Ok Tedi produced 43,000 tonnes copper and 110,300 oz. gold. Cash costs came in at US$1,100 per tonne copper. With low water levels in Ok Tedi and Fly Rivers hampering concentrate shipments, the operation cut mill throughput and mined lower-grade parts of the open pit to limit the amount of concentrate that would have to be stored
Inmet figures the expected production loss at Ok Tedi represents about 3% of it’s expected overall copper production for 2004.
Shares in Inmet were off 85, or more than 5% of value, at $15.66 in late afternoon trade in Toronto following the news on Jan. 27.