Mopani Copper Mines’ revenue up 18 percent

Revenue for Mopani Copper Mines, a unit of Switzerland based commodity trader, Glencore Xstrata rose 18 percent by December last year as copper sales rose, the company says.

In a report for the 12 months period to December 31 last year, Mopani Copper Mines, Zambia’s second leading producer of copper and cobalt, its total revenue rose to US$1.2 billion compared to US$1 billion a year earlier.

The surge was on account of the 27 percent increase in the quantity of copper sold of the red metal by the company on the international metal market at the end of December 2013.

The average copper price however, dropped seven percent compared to a year earlier. Revenue from copper sales increased to US$1.1 million at the close of December last year compared to US$ 931,000 a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

Copper sold was 149,000 tons at the end of last year compared to 117,804 tones as at end of December in 2012. Copper sales however declined to an average price of US$7334 a ton compared to US$7,903 a year earlier.

On expenditure, Mopani spent US$418 million on various capital projects with US$100 million being spent on sustaining existing operations and US4318 million spent on expansionary projects to enhance the company’s production, the report adds.

On the ‘flagship’ Synclinorium shaft in Kitwe in Zambia, Mopani spent US$70 million last year with major milestones completed including achieving a depth of 1,000 metres (from the designed depth of 1,277 metres sought).

The resources were further spent on the construction of the winder house structure and the start of the vent shaft pre-sinking. The project however remains on course for completion by the end of 2015 as envisaged.

The works done on the project is poised to extend the economic life of Mopani operations in Zambia. A total of US$490 million has been spent on the smelter and acid projects, which are being done in three phases; with phase one being the construction of the new smelter and acid plants being completed.

Phase two involved the construction of the new anode furnaces while phase three involves the construction and installation of additional convertors and an additional acid plant to finalise the capture of emissions of sulphur dioxide, expected to be siphoned back to a level of about 97 percent.

As at June this year, following the successful installation of phase three additional convertors and acid plant, over 92 percent of the sulphur dioxide is being captured.

It is expected, when completed, increase capture capacity to 97 percent in due course after optimization of the new plant, the report adds.

On the US$327 million budgeted, US29 million was spent last year on the sinking of the Mufulira deeps, with significant milestones achieved including appointment of a contractor and commencement of shaft sinking works. The project is expected to extend the life of the mine by 20-25 years. Phase one of the project is planned for completion in December 2018.

About US$29 million of the planned US$232 million has been spent on the sinking of Mindolo deeps last year with significant achievements like the appointment of the contractor and sinking of the shaft works at the mine unit.

The works when completed in 2018 will extend the lifespan of Mindola mine by 20-25 years.

Of the US$57 million earmarked for refinery upgrade to ISA Technology, US$13.5 million has been spent in 2013 and it is expected to assist modernize and automate operations at the Mufulira Refinery with the use of permanent cathode technology.

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