Kaz Minerals is considering the construction of a copper smelter in Kazakhstan reported Trend News Agency citing Oleg Novachuk's interview to Novosti Kazakhstan.
Mr. Novachuk noted that concentrate from Bozhshakol mine, which is scheduled for commissioning at year-end, contains high level of sulphur and thus cannot be smelted at Zhezkazgan smelter. Balkash smelter does have the capability to smelt Bozshakol concentrate, but its capacity is fully utilized. Mr. Novachuk believes that construction of a smelter in Kazakhstan is more beneficial than transportation of Bozhakol concentrate with just 20% contained copper to China. He promised to provide additional information on the smelter project in about two weeks time.
Recall that KAZ Minerals spun off its Zhezkazgan smelter to Kazakhmys LLP as a part of its restructuring program. According to the agreement, Kazakhmys LLP was to provide smelting and refining services to Kaz Minerals at normal commercial rates.