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Glencore Xstrata Said to Plan More Zinc Exports Through Luderitz

Glencore Xstrata Plc, the biggest publicly traded commodities supplier, plans to accelerate shipments of lead and zinc concentrates from its Rosh Pinah mine in Namibia after switching ports, a person familiar with the plan said.

A stockpile of a little less than the mine’s 98,000 metric ton annual production will be shipped through the port of Luderitz, about 290 kilometers (180 miles) northwest of the operation, by the end of March, the person said, asking not be identified because the information hasn’t been made public. A London-based spokesman for Glencore declined to comment immediately.

Shipments from the mine have been limited to about 10,000 tons a month by an inadequate rail system as the mine had to use the port of Walvis Bay, 812 kilometers from the operation, the person said. That resulted in the building up of the stockpile.

The mine started shipping metal to Walvis Bay in 2011 when Exxaro Resources Ltd. mothballed its Zincor refinery in South Africa. Glencore Xstrata agreed to buy the mine in 2011 and was cleared to do so by Namibia’s competition authorities the next year.

Rosh Pinah started a new shipping route to Luderitz on Nov. 27, where it has constructed a storage facility which can hold 40,000 tons of concentrates.

Glencore Xstrata holds a majority stake in Rosh Pinah, an underground operation 800 kilometers south of Namibia’s capital, Windhoek, which produces 70,000 tonnes of zinc and 28,000 tonnes of lead annually.

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