Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — January 16, 2008 – South Africa’s Palabora Mining Company achieved increased production of both copper in concentrate and new refined copper in 2007.

Palabora Mining – which operates an underground copper mine and smelter complex in the Phalaborwa area of South Africa’s Limpopo province – is majority owned by Rio Tinto PLC
A company statement released here today says Palabora produced 71 400 tonnes of copper-in-concentrate in 2007 – a 16% improvement over the previous year’s production level.

The statement adds that about 11.85 million tonnes of ore at 0.7% grade was hoisted during 2007 – an 8% rise on 2006 – while new refined copper production was up 13% at 91 700 tons.

The company said the rise was the result of higher milled tonnage and the reclaiming of low-grade copper during the first quarter of the year.

Overall, ore treated in 2007 was 20% above 2006 levels, due to a combination of improved mine output, improved auto-mill run time and processing of oxide ore.

Caption, Pic 1: Aerial view of an open pit operation at Phalaborwa.