100,000 tpy copper smelter planned for northwestern China

Shanghai-listed Western Mining Co Ltd said it plans to build a 100,000-tonne-per-year copper smelter in the northern western Chinese province of Qinghai, Reuters reported:

The cost of the project was estimated at 2.28 billion yuan ($347 million), the company said in a statement on Friday, adding that it would seek a partner to build the smelter with the Western Mining holding a majority stake.

"The project is going to add pressure to the local supply of copper concentrate," said senior copper analyst Yang Changhua at state-backed research firm Antaike.

Western Mining was likely to use copper concentrate production in Qinghai and Inner Mongolia for the new smelter but would still need to buy concentrate from other miners, Yang said.

The mining company operated the Yulong copper mine in Tibet, probably the largest untapped copper deposit in China, and would expand production there, he added.