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Mitsubishi Materials to Partly Restart Copper Smelter July

Mitsubishi Materials Corp. (5711), Japan’s third-largest copper producer, aims to resume partial operations in mid-July at its Onahama copper smelter after the March 11 quake and tsunami halted production.

The Tokyo-based company is repairing damaged parts and equipment at the smelter in Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan, it said in a statement today. On March 14, the company declared force majeure on concentrate shipments to its smelter.

The Onahama smelter has an annual capacity of 300,000 tons and produces between 220,000 tons to 240,000 tons each year.

Mitsubishi Materials also plans to resume full production this month at its Iwaki plant in Fukushima and its Ibaraki plant in June. Shares rose 0.4 percent to close at 271 yen today.

The company has 50 percent stake in the Onahama smelter, followed by Dowa Holdings Co. with 31.6 percent and Furukawa Metals & Resources Co. with 12.7 percent. The remainder is owned by other Japanese companies, including Mitsubishi Cable Industries Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corp.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jae Hur in Tokyo at jhur1@bloomberg.net; Ichiro Suzuki in Tokyo at isuzuki@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net.

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