Zambia’s KCM to shut down Nchanga smelter between July and August

Nchanga smelter at the Konkola Copper Mines. Image by Vendata.

Zambia’s Konkola Copper Mines Plc (KCM) will shut down its Nchanga smelter for 45 days between July and August to upgrade infrastructure, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

KCM will spend $27.63 million on the process, which will include a control system upgrade for the smelter with a capacity of 311,000 tonnes per annum, the statement said.

“The shutdown works will benefit the smelter operations as it will enhance operational efficiency and production, which will then translate into increased revenue for KCM and its subsidiary, the KCM SmelterCo Limited,” it said.

KCM’s priority is to ensure the asset is in good shape in order to sustain jobs while the government seeks a permanent solution for KCM, the statement said.

Zambia’s government owns 20% of KCM through state mining investment firm ZCCM-IH. The previous government handed control of KCM to a liquidator in 2019, triggering a dispute with Vedanta, which owns the other 80%.

(By Chris Mfula; Editing by Anait Miridzhanian and Mark Potter)

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