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Metorex Says Ruashi Fault Curbs Copper, Cobalt Output

Metorex Ltd., a copper and cobalt producer in Africa, said output at its Ruashi mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been curbed by recurring electrical faults.

“One transformer circuit continues to run normally while the other circuit is currently offline,” the Johannesburg-based company said today in a statement. “The Ruashi tank house is operating at a reduced throughput of 50 percent.”

It’s the latest setback for the Ruashi operation in the southeastern Katanga province after higher-than-projected investment costs during its development resulted in the need to raise extra funds and delay output. Metorex expects the current interruption to affect production for about five weeks.

Metorex has dropped 3.4 percent over the past week in Johannesburg, and traded down 1.2 percent at 4.83 rand at 5 p.m. local time today, the lowest closing price since Nov. 4.

The company is feeding higher-grade cobalt ore to the Ruashi plant to mitigate the effect of the circuit shutdown, according to the statement.

(Updates with company comment in second paragraph.)
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