Message Jeu 24 Sep 2009 14:42

Output At Zambia's Nchanga Smelter To Resume This Week-Offic

Output At Zambia's Nchanga Smelter To Resume This Week-Official
By Nicholas Bariyo Special to DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Konkola Copper Mines, Zambia's largest copper producer, is expected to resume output at its 300,000-metric-tons-a-year Nchanga Smelter by the end of this week, a company spokesman told Dow Jones Newswires Thursday.
Speaking by telephone from Chingola in Copperbelt Province, Rahul Khakhar said work to replace worn-out refractory bricks in the furnace is almost complete, which means the smelter could resume output in the next two to three days.
KCM is majority-owned by London-listed Vedanta Resources PLC(VED.LN).
The company closed the smelter at the beginning of the month to carry out scheduled maintenance work. Nchanga was commissioned in December last year.
In addition to treating copper concentrates from KCM's mines in the Copperbelt, Nchanga also treats concentrates from Equinox Minerals Ltd.'s (EQN.T) Lumwana Copper Mine in Northwestern Province.
Since being commissioned, the smelter has had two breakdowns, affecting output at both KCM and Lumwana.
The Nchanga Smelter is a critical component of KCM's strategy to reach a production target of 500,000 tons of finished copper a year by 2011. KCM expects to produce 305,000 tons this year.
-By Nicholas Bariyo, contributing to Dow Jones Newswires; +256 75 262 4615;
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