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Glencore says Kamoto Copper Company ramping up to full production

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: The logo commodities trader Glencore is pictured in Baar
FILE PHOTO: The logo commodities trader Glencore is pictured in Baar

(Reuters) - Glencore's <GLEN.L> head of Africa copper on Tuesday said its Democratic Republic of Congo subsidiary Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) is ramping up to full production and should produce 270,000 tonnes of copper as cathode in 2020.

KCC is also expected to produce 25,000 tonnes of cobalt hydroxide, Glencore's Mark Davis said.

In remarks made after a meeting with Congo's prime minister, Mark Davis said Glencore was also continuing to weigh options for a potential restart of its Mutanda Mining operation, which the company shuttered in November due to falling cobalt prices, increased costs and higher taxes.

"The Kamoto Copper operation is very successfully ramping up to full production levels during this current year ... and the Mutanda Mining operation remains under care and maintenance but we continue to study options for a restart in the future," said Davis.

The Kamoto mine has been ratcheting up output since it started producing at the end of 2007. The then owners Kinross Forest and Gecamines aimed for the mine to produce 25,000 tonnes of copper in its first full year.

Davis said the meeting with Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba was an opportunity to build on the "good discussions" between the mining industry and government over the past weeks.

"It represented the willingness of all parties to work together as good business partners," he said.

Congo's government this month pledged to reimburse value-added tax payments it owes mining companies, a win for the industry which says it is owed a total of more than $1 billion in reimbursements.

Glencore holds 75% of KCC through its Congo unit Katanga Mining, which the Switzerland-based firm took private and delisted from the Toronto stock exchange in April. Congo's state mining firm Gecamines holds the remaining 25% of KCC.

(Reporting by Stanis Bujakera and Helen Reid; Editing by Alison Williams)