Aditya Birla Minerals plans to place its Mount Gordon operations under care and maintenance by the end of April 2013.

The move is driven by fall in copper prices and economic uncertainty in the European market along with a slowdown in the Chinese housing market.

Expected savings from the decision are expected to be in the region of $12m-$15m per annum.

In January 2011, when Aditya Birla re-commenced the operations at the mine copper prices were in the range of $9600 per million tonnes but have since plummeted down to $7700 per million tonnes.

The per unit operating costs per pound copper produced have also peaked negatively effecting the operations at Mount Gordon.

According to recently concluded scoping study, the mine can be transformed to high production asset with lower operating cost by converting the current open stope trucking haulage method into a sub level caving hoist shaft haulage method.

Aditya Birla undertook a strategic review of the mine, and decided to refrain from exploring the high-grade resources at high unit cost.