China to Invest $200 Mln in Zambia Mine

China will invest $200 million in a Zambian mine as part of Beijing's effort to ensure a stable supply of raw materials, an official said on Wednesday.

"We are investing $200 million," a Zambian-based official from the state-owned China Nonferrous Materials Industry Engineering and Construction Group told Reuters.

He said the rehabilitation of the Chambishi copper mine was at an advanced stage and production was expected to resume later this year.

"We expect copper production to start again before end of this year," said the official.

The Chinese group bought an 85 percent stake in Chambishi from largely state-owned Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) in June 1998 for $20 million in cash. ZCCM retains a 15 percent stake in the mine.

Chambishi has faced the same cash flow problems as Zambia's other copper and cobalt mines in recent years.

The industry is nearing completion of a privatisation programme that will see the country's lifeblood mines handed over to foreign operators and investors.

A Beijing newspaper reported earlier on Wednesday that China would invest in the Chambishi mine as part of its effort to ensure a stable supply of raw materials.

China imported more than 1.25 million tonnes of copper concentrates last year, according to customs figures.

(Source: CIEC)

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