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 By Alastair Reed and Brett Foley

 

April 29 (Bloomberg) — Glencore International AG’s Zambian unit, Mopani Copper Mines Plc, will keep mining at its Nkana and Mufulira mines in the country after metals prices rebounded.

 

A “slightly improved copper price” and a review which achieved “significant cost reductions” will allow the division to drop its plan last month to place the mines on so-called care and maintenance starting April 14, Mopani said in a statement e- mailed today.

 

Baar, Switzerland-based Glencore, the world’s largest commodities trader, was in dispute with the Zambian government on plans to shutter the Nkana underground and open-cast mines and the Mufulira mine, Mines Minister Maxwell Mwale said last month. The government was prepared to let other investors take over and operate them, he added.

 

Copper has gained 40 percent this year, spurred by Chinese purchasing that helped the metal rebound after its 54 percent price decline on the London Metal Exchange last year, the biggest drop since at least 1987.

 

Glencore owns Mopani alongside Vancouver-based copper producer First Quantum Minerals Ltd. which holds 17 percent.

 

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Brett Foley in London at bfoley8@bloomberg.net

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