Vedanta’s Konkola Copper Unit Halted Output Dec. 31 at Open Pit
Konkola Copper Mines Plc, Vedanta Resources Plc (VED)’s Zambian unit, stopped producing at one of its open pits near Chingola after a mining contract was not renewed.
The contract with Brazilian-owned U&M Mining Services expired Dec. 31, the Zambian company said in an e-mailed statement today. The Nchanga mine, which includes the halted Chingola F&D open pit, produces an average 5,400 tonnes per month of copper in concentrate, according to the company.
“We are looking at our options for operating the pit,” Joy Sata, a spokeswoman for Chingola-based Konkola Copper, said by mobile phone.
Zambia, Africa’s biggest copper producer, is set to reach a record output of 1 million tonnes of the metal this year, according to Vedanta’s 2012 annual report. Copper accounts for about two-thirds of the country’s export earnings.
The U&M contract affects about 700 workers, Sata said. Konkola Copper is involved in wage negotiations for an agreement that was scheduled to be implemented Jan. 1.
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