Ivernia expects to restart Australian lead mine next year

Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:29pm EDT
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By Maneesha Tiwari

(Reuters) - Canadian miner Ivernia Inc IVW.TO said it expects to restart production its lead mine in Western Australia in the second quarter of 2013, nearly two years after it suspended operations on concerns about lead contamination.

The company plans to hire up to 200 employees at the Magellan mine, with the recruits joining in the first quarter of 2013, Ivernia Chief Financial Officer Brent Omland told Reuters.

Ivernia halted operations and cut 195 of 235 jobs at its flagship mine in April last year after lead was detected in mud samples taken from shipping containers coming from the mine.

The company's shares have fallen 76 percent since then.

Ivernia plans to restart operations in stages, with full production expected by the end of 2013, the company said.

The company is targeting average production of 85,000 metric tonnes (93,695 EDT) of contained lead per year, or slightly over 7,000 tonnes per month, from the mine, Omland said.

Ivernia sold 46,200 tonnes of lead metal in concentrate form in 2010 from the operation, which it describes as the world's largest lead carbonate mine.

There have been a number of work stoppages at the mine over the years due to environmental concerns.   Continued...