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:: KCMís Chingola Copper Smelter to be Commissioned this Month
Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) is expected to fully commission its Chingola copper smelter, in Zambia, this month, following delays caused by technical hitches, a company official says.
The new smelter uses the proven Outokumpu flash smelting technology and will handle KCMís copper concentrate and concentrate from other copper-mining companies in Zambia. Currently, KCM, Zambiaís largest copper producing company, is implementing the Konkola Deep mining project (KDMP), whose fourth shaft has reached its final depth of 81 m. The shaft will be used to take miners underground and to haul copper ore to the surface. The KDMP will be completed in 2010, with midshaft production of ore scheduled to start next year. Completion of the smelter will increase the production capacity of the mine, which is targeting at least one-million tons of copper a year by 2010.
Meanwhile, KCM has enlisted the help of police forces from neighbouring countries in an effort to strengthen its anti- copper theft squad. KCM communications adviser Sam Equamo says the companyís security wing is working with the Zambian police and its counterparts in neighbouring countries where copper passes on its way to global markets.
Zambia is a member of the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation, which aims to promote cooperation in thwarting crimes with regional implications. Zambiaís inspector-general of police, Ephraim Mateyo, last year formed an anticopper theft crack squad to specifically deal with this type of crime, which has rocked the mineral-rich Copperbelt province. In November last year, Zambian police arrested three Chinese nationals in Ndola for the theft of copper cathode and concentrate valued at $1-million. The copper had allegedly been stolen from KCM, which is majority-owned by London-listed Vedanta Resources plc.
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