April 19, 2011 / 1:14 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Taseko Mines Q1 copper output falls 17 pct at Gibraltar

* Says hurt by harsh winter, 4-day maintenance shut down

* Q1 copper production at 19.2 mln pounds

* Q1 molybdenum output up 63 pct at 316,000 pounds (Follows alerts)

April 19 (Reuters) - Canada’s Taseko Mines Ltd posted a 17 percent drop in quarterly copper production at its Gibraltar mine in British Columbia, hurt by a harsh winter and an unscheduled maintenance shut down that lasted for four days.

For the first quarter, Taseko produced 19.2 million pounds of copper, compared with 23.2 million pounds of copper a year ago, at its 75 percent-owned Gibraltar mine.

The Vancouver-based miner, however, posted a 63 percent rise in molybdenum production at 316,000 pounds.

Molybdenum recovery at the mine has continued to improve, and is nearing an average of 40 percent compared with last year’s 25 percent, the company said in a statement.

“This is a strong indication that the new molybdenum plant ... will add appreciably to total molybdenum metal production,” Taseko said in a statement.

The miner also owns the Prosperity copper-gold project in British Columbia, where operations were halted by the government of Canada last November over environmental concerns.

Shares of the company, which have shed about 19 percent in value since November, closed at C$5.30 on Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Gowri Jayakumar in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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