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Freeing up hydro causes surge in mining shares

Shares in Canadian mining company Cominco have surged after the zinc producer announced it would cut zinc production by a further 12,000 tonnes at its facility in Trail British Columbia, Canada. The move frees up additional hydro power from its plants for sale to California which has been affected by a long term power crisis. Analysts have said low zinc prices and unprecedented power rates in the US Northwest make the deal highly profitable for Cominco.

The latest cuts will lower production at Trail by a total of 80,000 tonnes from December 2000, when the company began selling additional electricity to the US grid from its Waneta dam on the Pend Oreille river in British Columbia.