LUSAKA, April 7 (Reuters) - Australia's Equinox Minerals Ltd. (EQN.TO) EQN.AX reported a 37 percent jump in output at its Lumwana copper mine in Zambia in the first quarter, and forecast it would grow production even further this year.
Equinox said in a statement on Wednesday the improved copper output indicated it could meet its full-year 2010 guidance of 135,000 tonnes of copper versus 109,413 tonnes in 2009.
Copper production at Lumwana -- one of the key mines in Zambia, Africa's top copper producer -- totalled 30,471 tonnes of copper concentrate in the first quarter from 22,242 tonnes in the same period last year, the company said.
"The Q1-2010 results are particularly pleasing as they were achieved during the wettest part of the year, reflecting a solid continuation of mine and mill ramp up at Lumwana," Equinox said.
Both mine and mill tonnages were impacted by a four day electrical power outage when a power distribution grid pylon fell due to vandalism, Equinox said.