By ZamChro Correspondent,

Chambishi Metals PLC (CHIBM.ZM) could reopen its copper and cobalt smelter following the lifting of a copper concentrates export ban by Congo’s Katanga province, Zambian Chronicle learned Wednesday.

Chambishi Chief Executive Officer Derek Webbstock was quoted as saying the smelter is likely to reopen and create more than 1,000 jobs.

Management closed the smelter in December last year citing low global metal prices. Before its closure, Chambishi smelter had been treating concentrates from the Baluba and Nkana mines in Zambia.

According to Webbstock, the company is currently in talks with companies that supply copper concentrate in Zambia and Congo.

An official at Zambia’s Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development said that given current global market conditions, treating imported concentrates would be a cheaper and more efficient option for the closed smelter.

The smelter has the capacity to treat up to 40,000 metric tons of copper a year and 4,000 tons of cobalt. Before its closure it was Zambia’s leading cobalt producer. Company officials couldn’t be reached for a comment.