Quadra FNX plans Podolsky Mine closure – by Star Staff (Sudbury Star/Reuters – November 11, 2011)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Quadra FNX Mining Ltd. announced Thursday it will wind down its Podolsky Mine operations in Sudbury by the end of 2012 and pay more attention to its flagship operations, including its Morrison deposit near Levack.

The Vancouver-based miner also said it would close its Carlota mine in Arizona. President and CEO Paul Blythe said the company has decided to focus on its more promising projects.

“We believe that the best way to achieve this is by optimizing the opportunities at our two flagship operations, Robinson (in Arizona) and Morrison (in Sudbury), which together contribute over 85% of our operating income, while continuing to deliver on our significant growth pipeline,” Blythe said in a statement.

“We have reviewed our other assets and have con-c luded that, on a risk-a djusted basis, we should wind down Carlota and Podolsky. We have also made significant changes to the mine plan for Franke, which will be focused on the China pit that is expected to have lower acid consumption rates.

“These changes in our portfolio will, in our view, better position Quadra FNX to focus on its core strengths and maximize value.”

Podolsky Mine is located north of Capreol. Commercial production of copper, nickel, gold, platinum and palladium, began in 2008.

The company said despite exploration work, it could find no reserves at Podolsky.

“As a result, the company has taken a $40-million impairment related to the exploration potential at Podolsky.”

“In consequence, the company has also decided to terminate operations once the 2000 Deposit is mined out. As a result of this change in mine plan, copper production from the Podolsky operation will cease by the end of 2012.”

Quadra FNX said it would continue to explore the Podolsky area.
The company also said it would “continue to evaluate increasing nickel production from its McCreedy West and Levack mines and the highly skilled Podolsky workforce will be encouraged to transfer to these properties (subject to nickel prices, as well as ongoing studies and off-take terms for the ore).”

About 500 people work at the company’s three Sudbury mines.

Quadra FNX Mining, meanwhile, on Thursday reported third quarter profit of nearly US$142.8 million or 75 cents a share in the three months ended Sept. 30.

That compared with earnings of $19. 5 million or 10 cents last year.

Revenues rose to $326. 2 million from $259.2 million as the company benefited from higher metals production.

Total production was 60 million pounds of copper and 27,000 ounces of total precious metals in the quarter, the company said.

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