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Imperial reports its 2Q18 production results

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Global Mining Review,

Imperial Metals Corporation reports metal production from its Red Chris and Mount Polley mines for the 2018 second quarter was 15.33 million lb copper and 17 724 oz. gold.

Red Chris second quarter metal production was 11.51 million lb copper and 8614 oz. gold, a decrease of 25.4% and an increase of 39.9% respectively from 15.42 million lb copper and 6159 oz. gold produced in the June 2017 quarter.

The mill achieved an average throughput of 27 802 tpd (calendar) during the June 2018 quarter, as throughput was impacted by the failure of a trunnion bearing in the ball mill, resulting in about six days of mill downtime in May.

In July, the mill throughput has averaged 32 995 tpd through to 10 July. Metal recoveries in the 2018 second quarter were 72.96% copper and 43.94% gold, a decrease of about 4% and an increase of about 16% respectively from the comparable 2017 quarter. Gold grades and recovery were better than expected during the quarter, while copper recovery continues to lag expectations with the majority of the ore fed to the mill coming from the upper benches of the phase 4 pushback of the Main zone.

One of the five geotechnical holes recommended by Golder Associates in their review of the potential for utilising block cave methods to mine the deep mineralisation at Red Chris has been completed. The remainder of the geotechnical holes are being deferred to a later date as their locations are not impacted by this year’s mining operations. The completed hole was designed to obtain geotechnical information, but it also intersects some of the deep mineralisation. Assays from the completed hole will be released when available.

Metal production at Mount Polley was impacted by the ongoing employee union strike initiated 23 May. Processing operations have been continued with staff operating the mill, but mining operations have been suspended and only low grade stockpiles have been processed. As a result, grades for the 2018 second quarter were lower with copper at 0.18% and gold at 0.261 g/t compared to 0.212% copper and 0.334 g/t gold during the comparable 2017 quarter. Metal production was 3.82 million lb copper and 9110 oz. gold, a decrease of 31.8% and 34.7% respectively from the 5.6 million lb copper and 13 958 oz. gold produced in the June 2017 quarter. Mill throughput averaged 17 395 tpd (calendar), down about 11% from the comparable 2017 quarter.

Discussions with representatives of the Mount Polley unionised employees are scheduled to resume the week of 16 July.

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