Mercator Minerals up 5.5% on production data

Mercator Minerals (TSE:ML) rose 5.5% today on announcing  production data from its Mineral Park Mine in Arizona.

A third-quarter mill expansion had the mine producing 11.3 million pounds of copper, 2.3 million pounds of molybdenum in concentrates and 204,000 ounces of silver in the fourth quarter.

Mercator said total quarterly copper production (23.6 million copper equivalent pounds) was lower than the expected 24.8 million pounds.  Mill throughput was impacted by the processing of harder ore from the Turquoise pit at Mineral Park:

"Mineral Park operations went very well during the quarter, its first full quarter since the completion of Phase II mill expansion. During the quarter, the mill completed a consecutive 90-day completion test which required an average throughput rate of over 45,000 tons per day. Also during this 90-day period, we were pleased to see the mill achieve higher average copper and molybdenum recovery rates of nearly 80% and over 73%," said President and CEO Bruce McLeod.

"We now have a better understanding of the harder ores in the Turquoise pit, so the ore feed from this pit will be blended with ores from the Central pit to ensure optimal performance to maximize throughput and recovery rates at the mill until the pebble crusher is installed."

Looking at full-year numbers, Mercator produced 80.3 million pounds copper equivalent. The company is expecting to produce 90 to 100 million tonnes of copper-equivalent pounds in 2012.

Read the full news release

Image by Mercator Minerals Ltd.