Chinese antimony mine accident kills 26 - HNC
Hunan Nonferrous Metals Corp Ltd (2626.HK: Quote) has halted operations at a 10,000-tonne-per-year antimony mine shaft while it investigates why two mine cages fell on Thursday, killing 26 people and injuring five.Shares of Hunan Nonferrous fell 2.2% in morning trade on Friday, compared with a 0.01% drop in the blue chip Hang Seng Index .HSI.The accident occurred at the No. 2 shaft of the south mine of Hsikwangshan Twinkling Star in Hunan province in China, the world’s main supplier of antimony. China has reduced exports this year following increased domestic consumption."Production of that mine has halted," said a senior executive at Hsikwangshan Twinkling Star Antimony Co Ltd, China’s top miner and producer of antimony and a subsidiary of HNC."Our metal production may fall this year from the normal 28,000-30,000 tonne level," the executive said.HNC said in a statement late on Thursday that it would investigate the cause of the accident.The firm also operates another antimony mine in Hunan, with annual production of 8,000-10,000 tonnes of the metal per year, and that mine was operating normally, the executive said.He added the metal production this year would depend on how long the mine would be shut and how much ore it could buy from other Chinese mines during the closure.