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Mopani mines will continue

Glencore’s Mopani
copper mine
Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 17 September 2009 – Zambia’s Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) “’ a unit of Swiss-based Glencore International AG “’ says it has reversed its plan to suspend output at its copper mines in the country, due to an uptick in prices and falling production costs.

Zambia’s second largest mining company, MCM had said earlier in the year that it planned to suspend operations at its Nkana underground and open pit mines and its Mufulira mines, mainly because of high production costs coupled with the collapse in copper prices.

But Reuters reports that copper has more than doubled since the start of the year, largely due to Chinese restocking, speculative buying, and signs of a gradual recovery in the world economy.

“Following a detailed review of its mining, processing and administrative operations, Mopani expects to achieve a significant cost reduction through the implementation of a range of cost savings programmes,” the company said in a statement.

“This, together with a slightly improved copper price environment, has enabled Mopani to make the decision to continue with its mining operations rather than place the shafts on care and maintenance.”

MCM also confirmed that the ore bodies at its two units were ageing and nearing the end of their productive lives. The company said it planned to re-evaluate the potential of the untapped resource of 100 million tonnes of copper-bearing ore located below the existing Nkana South ore body and central shaft ore body.