October 24, 2011 / 11:59 AM / in 6 years

UPDATE 1-Mercator sees copper output at 51 mln pounds a year

Oct 24 (Reuters) - Canada’s Mercator Minerals Ltd forecast copper output from its Mineral Park Mine in Arizona at an average 51 million pounds annually for the next five years, after completing the second stage of the site’s expansion project.

In 2010, the company produced 29 million pounds copper in concentrates and 4.3 million pounds molybdenum.

The company said it expects molybdenum production to average about 11.8 million pounds in concentrates annually for the next five years from the mine, which has another 23 years of production life.

“We believe there may be opportunities for improvement upon the base case guidance as we seek further operating efficiencies,” Chief Executive Bruce McLeod said in a statement.

The mining company, which aims to sustain copper production levels of at least 50,000 tons a day for the fourth quarter, projected mill throughput to increase 5 percent a year for the next two years.

Earlier this month, the Vancouver-based company said July-September copper production totaled 10.5 million pounds, which was below its expectations of 12 million pounds. (Reporting by Aftab Ahmed in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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