CBH has announced it is implementing further changes to its mine plan at the Endeavor Mine, in response to the continued deterioration of metal prices.
Currently prices are below the operating costs for a significant proportion of the world’s zinc producers, including Endeavor.
Under the latest revision of the operating plan, ore production in 2008/09 will reduce from 940,000 tonnes to 658,000 tonnes.
According to the company, it is expected that mine production will then continue at a lower annual mining rate of approximately 420,000 tonnes, with the ability to ramp up production as metal prices improve.
The combined average lead zinc (Pb/Zn) mine grade will progressively increase to 13% by June next year and grades will increase further to 14% in 2009/10 as higher grade stopes are accessed, the company said.
Regrettably the lower production rate at Endeavor will necessitate a further reduction in manning levels, with the current workforce to be reduced to one half of its current size (i.e.from 233 to 115).