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UPDATE 2-Kazakh copper output to boost 24 pct in 5 yrs
March 17, 2010 / 6:10 AM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 2-Kazakh copper output to boost 24 pct in 5 yrs

* Kazzinc to increase output by 70,000 T/yr

* Kazakhmys to add 25,000 T/yr

* Kazakhmys seeks $2 bln for new project

(Adds Kazakhmys comments on Aktogai)

By Raushan Nurshayeva

ASTANA, March 17 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s biggest metals exporter, plans to increase annual copper cathode output by 95,000 tonnes, or nearly 24 percent, within five years, Industry Minister Aset Isekeshev said on Wednesday.

He told a mining conference Kazakh copper producer Kazakhmys (KAZ.L) would account for 25,000 tonnes of the total increase while Glencore-controlled [GLEN.UL] Kazzinc would raise production by 70,000 tonnes.

Kazakhstan, an ex-Soviet republic of 16 million, currently produces 400,000 tonnes of copper cathode a year, he said.

Kazzinc has said it would launch a new $700 million copper facility this year in eastern Kazakhstan, near the border with China, the world’s largest consumer of metals.

Kazakhmys, for its part, plans to launch its new Boschekul copper facility by 2014 which it says would produce about 100,000 tonnes of copper concentrate a year.

The company has said Boschekul is also located conveniently near the border to serve the Chinese market. China Development Bank has lent Kazakhmys $2.7 billion for 15 years at the rate of LIBOR plus 4.8 percent to finance it.

Kazakhmys is now seeking financing for another expansion project, Aktogai, Chief Executive Oleg Novachuk said separately at the mining conference in the capital Astana.

“We are in talks with our strategic partners and hope to inform the market on the results by the end of this year,” Novachuk told the same conference. “We need $2 billion.”

He did not name any potential partners but said they could get a stake in the project.

Kazakhmys has said Aktogai, located in central Kazakhstan, could produce 150,000 tonnes of copper a year and held reserves of 5.6 million tonnes.

This year, Novachuk said Kazakhmys would invest $370 million into the company’s production. (Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Amanda Cooper)

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