VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Canada’s largest diversified miner Teck Resources has added about 50 000 t of zinc output to the full-year guidance for its Red Dog mine, in Alaska.
Vancouver-headquartered Teck advised that improving recoveries in the last few months has prompted the company to lift guidance to a range of 525 000 t to 550 000 t of zinc, up from the most recent guidance range of 475 000 t to 500 000 t of zinc.
The company increased production because of changes in mine sequencing and improved metallurgical recoveries, enabling higher-grade mill feed with a greater percentage of ore from the Qanaiyaq pit in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, Teck expects yearly zinc output at Red Dog over the next five years to range between 475 000 t and 550 000 t of zinc.
However, the guidance is dependent on Teck completing a mill upgrade project that is expected to increase average mill throughput by about 15% over the remaining mine life, helping to offset lower grades and harder ore in the Aqqaluk pit.
This project has robust economics and is expected to be complete by the fourth quarter of 2019, at a capital cost of $110-million. As the upgrade project will permit lower-grade material to be processed, the current mine life, based on existing developed deposits, will remain unchanged through to 2031.