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.