A 5% import duty has been applied on Zambian copper concentrates imports since the start of 2019, causing major smelters including Vedanta’s KCM and Chinese-owned Chambishi to slash planned output due to the added raw material cost pressure.
Major Zambian copper smelters, except First Quantum’s integrated Kansanshi facility, typically source part of their output from the neighboring DRC, Africa’s biggest copper producer.
“Some of the biggest DRC miners haven’t lost hope in the Zambian market yet. They still transport their copper concentrate output to bonded warehouses in Zambia,” a DRC-based producer source said.
Up to 100,000 tonnes of DRC concentrates, including ERG’s Frontier copper concentrates from the DRC, have been transported to bonded warehouses in the Zambian city of Ndola, with the intention of selling on to Zambian smelters should the import duty be withdrawn, the producer source estimated.
“The movement of Frontier [stock] to bonded warehouses is to try...