BRITISH COLUMBIA - Vancouver's TECK COMINCO, owner of the Highland Valley copper mine near Kamloops, has decided to extend the mine's life a further six years to 2019. The revised mine plan contemplates that from 2013 to 2019 an additional 247 million t of ore from an expanded Valley pit and continued mining of the Highmont pit will produce 1.5 billion lb of copper and 21 million lb of molybdenum in concentrate.
The capital cost associated with the extension is approximately $300 million (in 2007 dollars), consisting of $167 million in incremental waste stripping and the balance for mobile equipment. Approximately $50 million of mobile mining equipment will be ordered in 2007 to permit waste stripping to commence in 2009.
Copper production during the extension period from 2013 to 2019 is expected to average approximately 295 million pounds per annum. Life of mine copper and molybdenum grades are expected to decline by approximately 10% as a result of the inclusion of lower grade ore in the mine plan.
Teck Cominco announced earlier this week that it had record net earnings of $866.0 million in Q4 2006, and $2.4 billion for the year (almost double the net earnings of $1.3 billion in 2005). Visit www.TeckCominco.com.