Chambishi to restart metal production

[] –ZAMBIA’s Chambishi Metals, which produces copper and cobalt, will restart cobalt production this week after suppliers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) delivered enough cobalt concentrates, the firm said on Tuesday.

Operations at Chambishi were suspended in December and placed on maintenance due to losses the company suffered owing to the global economic slowdown.

Output was due to restart in October, but CEO Derek Webbstock said on Tuesday production would only start this week following the arrival of the raw materials.

“We have received enough cobalt concentrates from Congo and we will start processing cobalt this week,” Webbstock told Reuters in an interview.

Webbstock could not state the exact quantity of the cobalt concentrates delivered and at what capacity the plant would resume output but insisted the raw materials received were sufficient to start and sustain production.

Chambishi had forecast output at 3,400 tonnes of cobalt in 2009 from 2,500 tonnes in 2008 before it suspended operations.

“We initially expect about 300 workers to resume working and more will probably be engaged as production increases,” he said.

Webbstock said the company would start processing copper concentrates after China Nonferrous Metals Mining Corporation (CNMC) unit, Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM) restarted output.

“The copper we processed before came from Luanshya and we can only talk about restarting the processing of copper after Luanshya starts production,” Webbstock said.

Chambishi, which was previously owned by LCM, then a joint venture of Bein Stein Group Resources (BSGR) and International Mineral Resources (IMR), is now owned by Enya Holdings of the United Kingdom.