MANILA, Philippines - Canadian mining company TVI Pacific on Monday said its Philippine unit halted milling operations at its Canatuan mine in Zamboanga del Norte, after its remaining stockpile has been exhausted.
In a statement, TVI Pacific said TVI Resource Development Philippines, Inc. (TVIRD) "has stopped milling operations at its Canatuan mine after having exhausted its remaining stockpile, pending the results of assessing various mine life extension and expansion opportunities."
TVI said at least one more shipment of copper concentrate will be scheduled.
The company said the reserves mined at Canatuan had significantly exceeded initial reserves.
Since the sulphide production plant at Canatuan was completed in November 2008, TVI has completed 38 shipments of copper concentrate for a total volume of 195,660 dmt and 7 shipments of zinc concentrate for a total volume of 30,548 dmt, as compared to an initially anticipated 119,800 dmt of copper concentrate and 6,100 dmt of zinc concentrate.
TVI noted the copper and zinc operations at the Canatuan mine have provided a 5.9 year mine life as compared to an initially anticipated 5 to 6 year mine life. However, actual mill throughput has been much higher than planned, increasing to approximately 3,500 tonnes per day.
The Canadian miner said the processing plant will be cleaned but equipment will not be dismantled as it assesses mine life extension and expansion opportunities. This includes the possibility of processing mineralized waste dump material, new discoveries from exploration drill targets outside of the pit area, production of pyrite concentrates, re-processing of tails and exploitation of possible economic deposits from outside the current mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA).
TVI said TVIRD is seeking regulatory approval for expansion of the current MPSA to include these deposits.