Jiangxi Copper Co (0358.HK: Quote)(600362.SS: Quote), China's top integrated producer, will resume full production in June after it finishes repair work on an oxygen generator at its main Guixi smelter, its chairman said on Wednesday.
Li Yihuang said Jiangxi Copper, which produced nearly 20 percent of China's refined copper output last year, would be able to meet its 2009 output target of 800,000 tonnes of refined copper despite the repair, which started in late December.
We will be making final adjustments to the generator in June, Li told Reuters on the sidelines of an investment fair in Hong Kong that was organised by the Jiangxi provincial government.
The repair would reduce copper production by 80,000-90,000 tonnes this year, Pan Qifang, Jiangxi Copper's spokesman, said. That will be lower than the 120,000 tonnes the firm had expected.
We bought oxygen to cover part of our needs in the first half, making the output loss smaller, Pan told Reuters from the headquarters in Guixi city in Jiangxi.
The oxygen generator at the smelter, which represents 45 percent of total oxygen generation volume, is part of the system supplying the firm's 600,000-tonne-a-year designed smelting capacity, using copper concentrate as feed.
The firm also operates another 200,000 tonnes of designed smelting capacity using scrap as feed in Guixi, whose operations were not affected.
Pan said the two smelting systems could run above designed capacity and reach a total of 900,000 tonnes a year. It also had 900,000 tonnes of annual refining capacity.
Li, also the president of Jiangxi Copper's parent, said the parent company was building a 100,000-tonne-a-year copper strip plant in Jiangxi province, but gave no details.
But the provincial government, which controls the parent firm, is inviting investors to jointly build that plant with total investment of 2.7 billion yuan ($395.9 million), provincial officials told the same investment fair.
Jiangxi Copper already operates semi-finished copper products plants with nearly 500,000 tonnes of annual capacity in China, the world's top user of the metal. ($1=6.82 yuan) (Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
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