Business

KCM importing copper concentrates

NKWETO MFULA, Chingola
KONKOLA Copper Mine (KCM) has started importing copper concentrates from Chile and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for processing at its Nchanga smelter in Chingola as a result of low supplies at the refining facility.
In 2008, KCM commissioned a new smelter at Nchanga with a production capacity of 311,000 tonnes per year.
KCM vice-president Local Economic Development David Patersen said once Konkola Deep Mining Project starts running on full production, the firm will have enough concentrates for processing.
Mr Patersen said the company’s move to start importing copper concentrates will earn the country more revenue.
“Bringing in concentrates for processing locally is good for Zambia and will benefit the country through generation of revenue,” he said.
Mr Patersen confirmed the development in an interview in Kitwe on the sidelines of the just ended Copperbelt Mining Trade Expo and Conference.
However, he could not give the exact tonnage of copper that will be imported from Chile and DRC for processing at Nchanga smelter.
Mr Patersen said other local mining companies were also supplying the concentrates for processing at the smelter.
He said imported concentrates of high grade will be blended with the local products to produce finished products.
Earlier, sources at KCM said the company has started importing copper concentrates from Chile because the company is scaling up on mining.
“Production at COP 3 open-pit mine has been scaled up as the company is now reprocessing the slug which contains high grade copper,” the source said.
The source, who sought anonymity, said production levels at Nchanga underground mine is not on full capacity.
The source disclosed further that there is nothing much happening at KDMP in Chililabombwe, which he described as a “white elephant”.
“There is no development at KCM in terms of expansion of mining activities, it’s like [they](management) want to concentrate on smelting of foreign copper concentrates as business on its own,” the source said.



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