Message Jeu 24 Oct 2013 10:17

Kansanshi Mulls Exporting Copper Concentrate 24/10/2013

Zambia's Kansanshi Mulls Exporting Copper Concentrate 24/10/2013 09:45

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VED VEDANTA RESOURCES... 1 077,00 GBp 09:57
By Nicholas Bariyo


Zambia's largest copper miner by output, Kansanshi Copper Mines, is considering exporting its huge stockpile of copper concentrate after the government scrapped a 10% levy on unprocessed mineral exports, a company executive said Thursday.

The government has suspended the levy until September next year to help companies offload surplus stock, which has been rising in recent months because of inadequate capacity at local treatment facilities.

Alan Delaney, Kansanshi's deputy general manager, told Dow Jones Newswires that the company is considering applying for an export permit from the mines ministry.

"Our metals marketing people are looking at various options," Mr. Delaney said, adding the company is still studying the viability of exporting concentrate rather than refined products.

Kansanshi, a unit of Toronto-listed First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.T), has more than 75,000 metric tons of copper concentrate, worth around $133 million, which it hasn't been able to sell since last year due to the prohibitive levy.

"At this point, it is correct to say we don't know whether exporting will be a viable solution to First Quantum's problem," he said. "The cost of exports is already inflated by transport costs, and market demand for concentrate is not high."

Mr. Delany said it is important the company completes the construction of its own $500 million smelter on time next year to alleviate its mineral treatment problems.

At present, Kansanshi treats its concentrate at Vedanta Resources PLC's (VED.LN) Nchanga Smelter and China Nonferrous Metals Co.'s (8306.HK) Chambishi Copper Smelter, both located in the Copperbelt province.

Last year, Kansanshi produced 261,000 metric tons of copper cathode and 136,000 troy ounces of gold. It aims to increase copper production to at least 400,000 tons by 2015.

Write to Nicholas Bariyo at