Transformer failure at Copper Mountain is an 'unfortunate event'

A transformer failure reported on Thursday at Copper Mountain Mining (TSE:CUM) will limit production to 24,000 tonnes per day for about the next four weeks.

The company says that one of the two ABB transformers powering the SAG mill motors failed. A transformer from a ball mill is being moved over to the SAG mill. The SAG mill is scheduled to be back in production by this Saturday.

"As part of the original design of the concentrator, the SAG mill and two ball mills have identical motors and transformers that are interchangeable in the event of a component failure."

Throughput averaged about 34,000 tonnes per operating day during April. The mill's nameplate capacity is 38,000 tonnes per operating day.

Copper Mountain dropped on Friday by 7.74% to $1.55. It is 52-week range is $1.43 to $4.53.

The insurance company has been informed. The damaged transformer is being shipped for rebuild in Edmonton.

"This transformer failure is an extremely unfortunate event for the operation as our team has been making significant strides in getting our SAG mill up to full capacity," said Jim O’Rourke, President & CEO of Copper Mountain.

"Immediate metal production will be impacted, but all resources are being made to minimize the impact."