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Ivernia expects to restart Australian lead mine next year

Thursday, 11 Oct 2012 | 10:28 AM ET

Oct 11 (Reuters) - Canadian base metal miner Ivernia Inc

said it expects to restart operations at its lead mine in Western Australia in the second quarter of next year, nearly two years after suspending operations on fears of a possible leak of the toxic metal.

Shares of the company rose 11 percent to 10.5 Canadian cents in morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Ivernia halted operations at the Magellan mine in April last year after lead was found in mud samples taken from shipping containers coming from the mine. Its shares have fallen 76 percent since then until Wednesday close.

The company had also laid off about 83 percent of the workforce at the mine, which the company says is the world's largest lead carbonate mine.

Ivernia now plans to restart operations in stages, with full production targeted by the end of 2013, the company said in a statement on Thursday. It expects to sell lead carbonate concentrate in the second quarter of next year.

The government of Western Australian approved new transportation and operating conditions for the mine in July.

The company sold 46,200 tonnes of lead metal in concentrate form in 2010 from the mine, which has seen a number of work stoppages over the years due to environmental concerns.

Fear of lead poisoning has led to many mine closures across the world. Some countries have already restricted the use of the base metal in paints and cosmetics.

(Reporting by Maneesha Tiwari in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)

((maneesha.tiwari@thomsonreuters.com)(within U.S. +1 646 223 8780 outside U.S. +91 80 4135 5800)(Reuters Messaging: maneesha.tiwari.thomsonsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: IVERNIA MAGELLAN/