Zambian copper producers to slash output on import duty; DRC copper concs could be diverted to China

A new duty on imported copper raw materials in Zambia has already led to consequences - producers are planning on reducing output, while some concentrates from the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) could be diverted to other markets including China, Fastmarkets has learned.

Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), majority owned by Vedanta, has cut its operations in Ngchanga copper smelter starting this month amid lower availability of concentrates, a source familiar with the matter said.  No estimate on the affected output was given.     KCM, the largest integrated copper producer in Zambia, could be forced to halve its output in the country following the implementation of the 5% import duty proposed last September, a company source had earlier told Fastmarkets. KCM's Ngchanga smelter, with a designated annual capacity of 310,000 tonnes, has been sourcing part of its concentrate feedstock from the neighbouring DRC, as well as from Botswana and Chile.   Copper concentrates are at the centre of the trade flow between the two largest copper producing countries in Africa. According to the Zambian government’s December statistics bulletin, copper concentrates accounted for 85.9% of total imports from the DRC by value...

Published

Julian Luk

January 08, 2019

13:50 GMT

London