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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Middle East & Asia: May 16th 2003


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:: Rayong Smelter Ahead of Schedule

A new smelter being built at Rayong, Thailand, by Thai Copper Industries plc (TCI), may begin operations ahead of the scheduled completion date of April 2004. Wanlop Kunanukornkul, an executive director of TCI, says that the 180,000 t/y facility is 85% complete. The US$600 million project was suspended several times during the past decade, owing to low copper prices and lack of funding, but finance was finally secured early this year.

Initial production is expected to be about 165,000 t/y of copper cathode during the first few years of the operation, building up to 180,000 t/y. Concentrate feed has been secured for 80% of the plant's needs, and the remainder is to be acquired on the spot market. Thailand imported about 170,000 t/y of cathode last year.




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