15 Jan 2010 12:46

Karabashmed looks to boost blister-copper output 20% in 2010

CHELYABINSK. Jan 15 (Interfax) - CJSC Karabashmed, part of Russia's third largest copper producers CJSC Russian Copper Company (RCC), plans to produce 72, 000 tonnes of blister copper in 2010, which would be a 20% increase over last year's 60,000 tonnes, Karabashmed's General Director Alexander Golov told Interfax.

Karabashmed is looking to make full use of existing capacity to achieve this end, Golov said. The company also plans to invest 221 million rubles this year (198 million rubles last year), he said.

The plant is working on an investment project for 2010-2014 that includes steps to elaborate copper-refining and increasing output to 120,000 tonnes annually.

"As a result, we are setting the task of moving to finished product - anodic copper," Golov said. Karabashmed currently sends its blister copper for processing at CJSC Kyshtym Copper Electrolyte Works, another RCC company.

The investment program also envisions measures to expand production of converter, anodic, and copper-sulfur products, increase acid output, and develop energy infrastructure (including new power capacity or building its own power sources).

Golov did not name the price tag on this investment program, but said the company plans to obtain a feasibility study that lays out financial sources and amounts before this June.

Kyshtym Copper Electrolyte Works owns 23.1% of Karabashmed charter capital. RCC controls 14% of the market for copper cathode and 24% of Russia's copper-containing resources.