The company that runs the Highland Valley Copper mine says they are ahead of schedule on a $73-million ball mill project aimed at increasing production.
Teck Resources released first quarter financial statements last week showing revenues, profit and production are all lower than this time last year at the mine near Logan Lake.
“Gross profit from our copper business unit was $170 million in the first quarter compared with $293 million a year ago,” the report said.
“Copper production in the first quarter decreased by five per cent from a year ago primarily due to lower mill throughput and ore grades at Carmen de Andacollo and lower ore grades at Highland Valley Copper.”
At Highland Valley, copper production in the first quarter was 1,300 tonnes lower than a year ago, mainly due to lower ore grades.
However, Teck representatives said the lower grade was anticipated and it is expected to improve through the rest of 2019.
Production capacity at the mine is also expected to increase through the additional ball mill and the mining of deeper ores.
Startup of the new mill is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2019, according to the report.