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:: Chinese to Build $200m Copper Smelter in Zambia
Chinese investors will build a $200-million smelter in Zambia with a capacity to produce 150 000 t of finished copper a year, a senior industry official said on Wednesday.
Xu Ruiyong, company secretary of NFC Africa, a subsidiary of China Nonferrous Metal Mining (Group) Co. Ltd., which operates Zambia's Chambishi Copper Mine, said work on the Chambishi smelter would start in November.
Xu said the smelter would initially produce copper anode and then begin to produce 150 000 t of finished copper a year, but he gave no indication when the smelter would begin to produce finished copper.
"The main destination of the copper to be produced at the smelter will be China," he told Reuters.
"We expect construction of the Chambishi smelter to be completed by 2008 and the money for the construction will come from Chinese investors. It is estimated that over $200-million will be spent on the project," Xu said but gave no further details except that the smelter would employ up to 1 500 people.
China Nonferrous Metal Mining (Group) Co. Ltd. has mined copper from its majority-owned Chambishi mine in Zambia since 2003, and produces 25 000 t to 30 000 t of copper in ore a year at the mine, where miners rioted in June over delayed pay.
The company said in September that it had started producing refined copper from the Chambishi mine and would soon start building a smelter.
China is becoming increasingly active in Africa with an eye to the commodities it needs to feed its ravenous economy.
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