Copper miner Kazakhmys eyes $6 bln investment

Feb 11. Reuters. ASTANA

By Raushan Nurshayeva

* Investment over 3-4 years in energy, mining, metals
* Chairman speaks at party congress
* Copper output seen rising from 2015

Copper miner Kazakhmys eyes $6 bln investmentKazakh copper miner Kazakhmys plans to spend $6 billion over the next three to four years to upgrade its metal plants and develop energy and mining projects, the company’s chairman said on Friday.

Vladimir Kim, speaking at a congress of Kazakhstan’s ruling Nur Otan political party, said the FTSE-100 miner would finance its planned investment through a mixture of its own resources and long-term loans from international lenders.

“(The investment) will be in energy, in mining enterprises, of course, and in the entire renovation of the metallurgical complex,” Kim told the party congress.

Kazakhmys, the world’s 10th-largest copper miner, expects production to be stable this year. Strong demand for the metal, especially from China, has helped push copper prices to record highs above $10,000 per tonne this week. 

Kazakhmys produced 303,300 tonnes of copper cathode from its own concentrate last year, in line with its target of at least 300,000 tonnes, but less than 2009 output of 320,400 tonnes.

The copper market this year is expected to be in deficit by 444,000 tonnes, with the shortfall extending into 2012, a Reuters poll of analysts last month showed.

Kazakhmys expects its copper production to be flat until 2014, after which it plans to boost output by as much as 60 percent by bringing several major projects on stream.

The company secured a $2.7 billion loan in 2009 from China’s state-run Development Bank to help fund its Bozshakol and Bozymchak projects. The first ore from Bozshakol is scheduled by the end of 2015, according to a draft feasibility study.