Aditya Birla Minerals has announced it is reviewing reopening its mothballed Nifty Oxide and Mt Gordon mines despite facing environmental charges at Mt Gordon.
This assessment comes on the back of sharp rises in the price of copper, propelled by increased imports to China.
The copper price is currently around US$ 7400 per tonne, compared to only US$ 3000 per tonne this same time last year.
It placed the Mt Gordon and Nifty Oxide mines in care in January 2009 due to falling metal prices. Despite this, operations continued at its Nifty Sulphide project with output rising 13% in the fourth quarter of 2009, as compared to the previous year.
Aditya Birla announced that ” despite the market today being in surplus, the short-term outlook for the drivers of the rally in the price over the past six months remain intact … booming Chinese demand and continued improvement in world ex-Chinese demand.”
Earlier this month, it was reported by MINING DAILY that Aditya Birla’s Mt Gordon mine in Queensland was facing charges of causing environmental harm.
Speaking to the Department of Environment and Resources Management (DERM) assistant director general Dean Ellwood, he told MINING DAILY that Mt Gordon was being pursued by DERM with its strongest avenue of recourse, following charges of its ongoing non-compliance relating to the mine’s storage of waste water on-site. Mt Gordon faces a maximum penalty of $1.5 million if convicted.