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Mudslides Hit Changba Lead-Zinc Mine, Baiyin Nonferrous Metal Zinc Smelter Unaffected
Aug 23, 2010 14:12CST

SHANGHAI, Aug. 23 (SMM) -- Baiyin Nonferrous Metals Company, one of China's major zinc producers, has suspended operations at its Changba lead-zinc mine in Gansu province due to heavy flooding on August 12th, although its zinc smelter was not affected. According to SMM sources, the impact from mudslides on lead and zinc markets was minimal.

Operations at the lead-zinc mine were halted as excess water after heavy rains reached two meters, flooding buildings up to the second floor and damaging the electrical equipments in new ore dressing system. Water depth underground was measured at 360 meters, and the drainage, ventilation, ore removal, and communications facilities were all destroyed. Most underground pipelines were damaged and water supply facilities were partially destroyed, and power lines and poles collapsed as well. 

SMM contacted the Baiyin Nonferrous Metals Company immediately and found that only operations at the Changba lead-zinc mine were halted, while the company's smelting plant was unaffected and with zinc production normal. All lead and zinc concentrates produced by mudslide-affected mine are used by Baiyin Nonferrous Metals Company for its own production, and accounts for 50% of the company's total raw material supply. At present, the company is using mainly outsourced concentrates for production. The company has sufficient concentrates on hand, so the mudslide is not expected to affect normal operations of its zinc smelter. 

In other news, Baiyin Nonferrous Metals Company has sufficient zinc ingot stocks, and since spot market supplies of zinc ingot are ample as well, SMM believes any impact from the mudslide on zinc spot markets will be limited.  

The company dispatched machinery and personnel to conduct rescue operations and repair work.  600 people were sent to the Wangzhuang and Jiaba family areas, as well as other mine areas, to repair roads, power and water lines. Another 500 people were responsible for  maintenance and repair of production facilities and equipment, both on underground and on the surface. Pumps are being installed in underground and large-flow high-head submersible pumps are also being mobilized by the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the Gansu Provincial Government. 


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