Thursday, July 26, 2012 -
Kazakhstan’s largest copper miner Kazakhmys said Thursday it is set to achieve its 2012 full-year targets for copper extraction despite an 11 percent drop in output in the first half of the year.
The London-listed firm said it remains on course to produce between 314,000 and 325,000 tons of copper cathode from its own concentrate, as well as meet its by-products production targets in 2012.
"Following the severe weather at the start of the year, we are continuing to raise our output and we remain on track to meet our production targets set at the start of the year," Kazakhmys' chief executive Oleg Novachuk said in a statement.
Kazakhmys said it increased copper production in the second quarter of this year over the first three months when output was held down by severe winter conditions.
But second quarter 2012 production of the finished copper product was down 11 percent on the same period of last year to 77,400 tons from 87,000 tons.
Kazakhmys produces copper cathode, gold, silver, and zinc.
In a related development, Kazakh Minister of Industry and New Technologies Asset Issekeshev warned that the country could exhaust its reserves of copper reserves within 10-15 years.
The official attributed the growing scarcity of non-ferrous metal to heavily intensive extraction of in recent decades, while geological exploration has failed to turn up promising new reserves.
“We are experiencing a general decrease in the volume and deterioration of quality of the mineral reserves,” Steelguru.com reported the minister as saying.
A large part of Kazakhstan’s reserves have a low quality, he said.