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Chinese Copper Smelter Halts Capacity to Ease Winter Pollution

  • Company makes move before annual fee talks resume with miners
  • If curbs spread, it’ll hurt ore use, Tongling executive says
Metal workers work at the Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Holdings Co. Ltd copper smelter in Tongling.

Metal workers work at the Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Holdings Co. Ltd copper smelter in Tongling.

Photographer: Natalie Behring/Bloomberg 

Updated on

China’s second-largest copper smelter said it began halting capacity last week at its main production hub in the city of Tongling after the local government ordered the curbs as part of a national plan to ease pollution over the winter months.

Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Co., based in Anhui province, is idling 20 to 30 percent of its smelting capacity, from an annual total of 800,000 metric tons, Wang Guojian, vice commercial director, said by phone Thursday. There’s no timetable for how long the cuts may last, he said.