Mining company reduces zinc production in favour of copper

OZ Minerals, the world’s second largest zinc miner, will reduce zinc production in favour of copper at its Golden Grove mine in 2009.

OZ Minerals intends to reschedule mine production at Golden Grove in 2009 to reduce production of zinc in concentrate by approximately 50,000 tonnes, equivalent to a reduction of between 35% and 40% of current 2008 zinc production guidance of 130,000 and 135,000 tonnes. Expected zinc, in concentrate production, from Golden Grove for 2009 is in the range of 80,000 and 85,000 tonnes.

OZ Minerals will simultaneously increase production of copper in concentrate by approximately 14,000 tonnes to between 35,000 and 40,000 tonnes for 2009.

According to Oz Minerals CEO Andrew Michelmore, re-scheduling production will enable the company to retain a valuable zinc asset that can then be mined in the future when the zinc market returns to levels that more accurately reflect underlying supply and demand fundamentals.

“We have not at this stage rescheduled zinc production any further at Golden Grove or at any of our other operations because we have a duty to ensure our long-term customers are not disadvantaged”, he said. “However, we will always have the long-term economic interests of our shareholders uppermost in our decision-making.”

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