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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Middle East & Asia: February 16th 2006


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:: Kumba's Chinese Smelter Expansion

South African-based Kumba Resources Ltd is to expand the Chifeng zinc smelter in Inner Mongolia, China, after reaching agreement with five Chinese companies.

The expansion of Chifeng will increase the plant's capacity from 50,000 t/y to 110,000 t/y, over a three-year period.

Under the terms of the agreement, the smelter will be managed by a new company called Chifeng NFC Kumba Hongye Zinc Smelting Co Ltd (CNKH) - an equity joint venture comprising China Nonferrous Metals Industry's Foreign Engineering and Construction Co Ltd (NFC); Kumba and its existing partners in Chifeng; and new partners Chifeng City Power Engineering General Co and Xinbaerhuyougi Xinxin Mine Co Ltd. Kumba will hold a 23% interest in the expanded smelter.

Mr Nazir Jogiat, general manager of Kumba's base-metals unit, said: "The joint-venture partners provide a strong combination of engineering, mining and smelting expertise. Together with a stable supply of electricity and concentrate, the expanded operation will enhance the value of the company to the benefit of all stakeholders.

"Although this is a tight construction schedule, our Chinese partners have demonstrated their ability to build such a facility in the allotted period.The considerable experience of NFC in this field will further enhance this capability," Mr Jogiat added.

Con Fauconnier, chief executive of Kumba, said: "With zinc [prices] going up nicely, we decided to expand at Chifeng ... We have gained invaluable experience and it has given us a very good idea of how to operate in China."




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