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Mitsubishi Materials Raises Copper Output 0.8% at Gresik Smelter

Feb. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Mitsubishi Materials Corp., Japan’s third-largest copper producer, plans to increase production 0.8 percent this year at its Gresik smelter in Indonesia, it said.

The company’s Indonesian unit, PT Smelting, will produce 259,000 metric tons of copper in 2012, compared with 257,000 tons in 2011, spokesman Toshiaki Yamada said today. The company will shut the smelter for 30 days of maintenance in May, he said.

Output from the smelter declined last year because of a three-month strike at Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.’s Grasberg mine in Papua province that ended after Phoenix-based Freeport agreed Dec. 14 to increase wages, Yamada said. In 2010, the smelter produced 271,000 tons.

PT Smelting, with an annual capacity of 300,000 tons, is 60.5 percent-owned by Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Materials. Freeport has a 25 percent stake, Mitsubishi Corp. owns 9.5 percent and JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corp., a unit of JX Holdings Inc., has 5 percent.

Output from the smelter is sold to Indonesia and neighboring Southeast Asian nations.

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: Jarrett Banks at jbanks15@bloomberg.net

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