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Zambia's Chambishi delays restarting cobalt output Sun Aug 1

Zambia's Chambishi delays restarting cobalt output
Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:36am EDT

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LUSAKA, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Zambia's largest cobalt producer Chambishi Metals Plc will delay restarting production until September after suppliers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) failed to deliver cobalt concentrates, it said on Sunday.

Operations at Chambishi were suspended in December and were due to restart in August, but Chief Executive Officer Derek Webbstock said it would have to wait until mines in the DRC begin to deliver raw materials.

"We are still waiting for the cobalt concentrates. The suppliers we agreed with are having problems and we haven't had any deliveries yet," Webbstock told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Webbstock said Chambishi, which had forecast output of 3,400 tonnes of cobalt in 2009 from 2,500 before it suspended operations last December, would first have to stockpile the cobalt concentrates before starting operations.

The resumption of output had already been pushed back to August from July while Chambishi waited for supplies from the DRC.

"If the suppliers get their problems sorted out quickly we can resume production in two weeks time but it may take longer because we need to stockpile the concentrates first," Webbstock said.

Chambishi, which was previously owned by Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM), a joint venture of Bein Stein Group Resources (BSGR) and International Mineral Resources (IMR), is now owned by Enya Holdings of the United Kingdom. (Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter) (For full Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: