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LUSAKA, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Zambia’s Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has launched its new Nchanga copper smelter under plans to raise copper cathode output to 500,000 tonnes within two years, the company said on Tuesday.


The Nchanga smelter, which has a capacity to produce 300,000 tonnes copper per year and cost KCM $500 million, is one of major projects the mining company has undertaken to raise copper production, officials say.


The KCM statement said the smelter produced its first blister copper which was to be transported to the Nkana Copper Refinery for processing into cathode copper late in October.


The Nkana copper refinery is a unit of KCM, which is majority owned by London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc (VED.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).


(Reporting b Shapi Shacinda +260977843609/260-955779523)