Glencore International reported in mid-September that Kazzinc, owned 50.7% by Glencore, has commissioned a new copper smelter and refinery at its Ust-Kamenogorsk metallurgical complex in eastern Kazakhstan. The plant has capacity to process up to 370,000 mt/y of copper concentrate and produce 70,000 mt/y of copper cathodes, with long-term potential to increase capacity to 87,500 mt/y of copper cathodes.
A new lead smelter is also currently under construction at UstKamenogorsk. When completed in the first half of 2012, it will increase lead production at the metallurgical complex from 130,000 to 168,000 mt/y of lead metal.
The Kazzinc copper and lead smelters both use Xstrata’s ISASMELT technology.
Kazzinc’s $875-million investment in new copper and lead metal production capacity is the largest single project in the company’s history.
Kazzinc’s operations include eight mines, three concentrators, a gold recovery plant, two zinc smelters, the new copper smelter, the lead smelter and the precious metals refinery. The company’s assets are located primarily in eastern Kazakhstan, with others in northern Kazakhstan and in Russia’s Trans-Baikal region.