Vale kicks off copper production at Zambia mine

Brazil's Vale (NYSE:VALE) announced it has started producing copper concentrate at its Lubambe mine in Zambia.

The Rio de Janeiro-based company said production at Lubambe began on October 4 and it is expected to lead to an annual output of 45,000 tons of the red metal’s concentrate.

Copper concentrate is a raw version of commercial copper that is later refined by smelters.

Vale's initiatives to expand copper production are part of a company’s plan to diversify into other commodities.

Vale is currently the world's number one iron ore producer.