Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) expects output this year at its Zaldivar copper mine in Chile to rise as much as 8 percent from last year due in part to a steadier supply of sulphuric acid, the mine's manager said on Thursday.
In an interview at the CRU/CESCO copper conference, Zaldivar manager Robert Mayne-Nicholls said the mine should produce between 305 and 320 million pounds (139,000-145,000 tonnes) in 2009 at a cash cost of $1.15-$1.25 per pound.
Output was hurt by a shortage of acid early last year, but the company has enough for 2009 and is working to secure alternative sources to ensure no future shortages when demand rises, Mayne-Nicholls said.
The mine sits next to the massive Escondida mine, which is owned by BHP Billiton (BHP.AX) and Rio Tinto (RIO.L). Mayne-Nicholls said the two mines were on good terms, but said there were no plans for any additional agreements to deal with orebodies on the border of the two operations. (Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Marguerita Choy) © Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved