Swedish mining and metals group Boliden reported that throughput at its Aitik copper mine in Q4 2023 is expected to be lower than planned due to a maintenance shutdown at one of the mills and unfavorable weather conditions.
The company said that an unplanned maintenance stop on one out of two primary mills has occurred as a result of damage between the trunnion and feed end, adding that production in the affected mill line has been stopped and is expected to restart in December.
Moreover, Boliden noted that seasonal and unfavorable weather conditions in mid-November have resulted in elevated nitrogen dioxide levels in the air in Aitik, which led to restrictions on large parts of Aitik’s industrial area and limited production.
The company said that as a result, Aitik’s throughput during the fourth quarter of 2023 is now estimated to amount to just over 9 Mton, compared to just over 11 Mton that can be expected under normal conditions.
Aitik, just south of Gällivare in northern Sweden, is Sweden’s largest open-pit copper mine. In 2022, the mine produced 79 ktonnes of copper, 78,143 ounces of gold and 900,000 ounces of silver. Boliden says that Aitik is the world’s “most efficient” open-pit copper mine.