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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Copper: Latest News: September 29, 2009


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:: Zambia Chambishi Smelter Processing Lumwana Copper

Reuters reported that Chinese owned Chambishi copper smelter has started processing concentrate from Zambia's Lumwana copper mine initially rejected by another smelter after claims it contained uranium.

Mr Harry Michael CEO of Lumwana mine said that Chambishi smelter would treat 55 percent of the company's annual output under a five-year agreement. Lumwana cut its 2009 production forecast to between 110,000 tonnes and 120,000 tonnes copper metal in concentrate from a projected 170,000 tonnes due to lack of equipment and other operational difficulties.

He said that "We will be sending on average 55% of our annual concentrate to Chambishi copper smelter in the next 5 years."

Lumwana's copper concentrate was rejected by Mopani Copper Mines majority owned by Glencore International AG of Switzerland after Mopani claimed in March that the concentrate had high uranium traces.

Mr Michael said that "As far as we are concerned, our concentrate is perfectly good and meets the guidelines set by the International Atomic Energy Agency and so we have no problems with Chambishi. We can't understand why Mopani rejected it."

Lumwana which Equinox says is Africa's largest open pit copper mine opened in December after a 5 month delay caused by a fire at the site's processing plant.




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