Vedanta reports rise in Zambia copper output

Mined metal production from mining conglomerate Vedanta’s Zambia copper projects was higher quarter-on-quarter owing to improved recoveries for the half-year ended September 30.

The company revealed last week that mined metal production was at 29,000 tonnes, two percent higher than in the first quarter of the year, owing to improved recoveries.

However, mined metal production was lower by 12 percent year-on-year owing to lower production from the Nchanga underground mine, which was placed on care and maintenance in the third quarter of the financial year.

Production from the Konkola underground mine was impacted by lower trackless equipment availability. At the tailings leach plant, production was lower by 10 percent, owing to throughput constraints at the mill and lower feeds from current tails.

Custom volumes at 19,000 tonnes were 29 percent higher year-on-year, and 15 percent higher quarter-on-quarter, owing to higher concentrate availability and higher grades.

The biennial planned shutdown at the smelter, scheduled for 40 days, started on September 26, with the feed rate expected to increase from 70 tonnes per hour to over 80 tonnes per hour.

On zinc, total production, excluding production from Vedanta’s Lisheen mine, in Ireland, was up 20 percent year-on-year.

Production, including Lisheen, was at 39,000 tonnes, lower than the corresponding prior quarter, owing to the closure of the Lisheen mine in November 2015.

Production at Skorpion in Namibia increased year-on-year on account of higher feed grades and better recoveries.

During the second quarter of the year, production at Skorpion was impacted on by shutdowns.

Total production, excluding Lisheen, was 12 percent higher than total production achieved in the first half of the year. Production including Lisheen was down by 38 percent at 82,000 tonnes, mainly owing to the closure of the Lisheen mine.


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