China's Minmetals Resources reported that its copper mine in Democratic Republic of Congo would fall short of production targets due to power disruptions. Disruptions resulted in the rescheduling of mining operations and a reduction in ore mining as there has been inadequate power to ramp up production.
Minmetals, a unit of China's biggest metals trader, in February acquired the Kinsevere copper project in the DRC as part of its $1.3 billion takeover of Africa-focused Anvil Mining. A short-term solution to provide power was being sought through the installation of temporary diesel generators on at the mine. The generators are expected in June and will provide stable back-up power during the second half of 2012.
Minmetals also said it had negotiated additional off-peak power from the Zambian power authority with the Société nationale d'électricité, the national electricity company of the DRC. The mine would yield between 28,000 and 32,000 tonnes of copper cathode from March to December with a view to ramp up to full strength by the end of 2012. Annual capacity is about 60,000 tonnes.
The company also affirmed that its Century mine in Australia, the world's third-largest zinc mine, produced 112,873 tonnes of contained zinc during the quarter, up 18% from the same period a year ago. Contained lead output at the mine rose 6 percent to 3,960 tonnes over the period. Minmetals Resources is 72% owned by China's state-owned Minmetals group.
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