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Report: Jiangxi Copper to set up Southeast Asian blending, scrap processing ops

Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd. plans to set up copper, zinc and lead concentrates blending and scrap processing operations in Southeast Asian countries, Metal Bulletin reported May 21, citing a company official.

According to the report, a senior Jiangxi Copper official, who holds prior experience in the concentrates blending business, visited Malaysia for more than a month to explore the potential of building a copper, zinc and lead concentrates blending facility in Port Klang.

Copper concentrates with more than 0.5% arsenic content is illegal for import under China's import rules. As a result, concentrates with higher arsenic content must be blended with other cleaner feed prior to import, the report added.

Other companies, including Glencore PLC and Louis Dreyfus Co. BV, made significant investments in blending operations in Asian ports, including Taiwan, South Korea and Malaysia.

In addition to the base metals concentrates blending business, the Chinese copper smelter intends to establish scrap dismantling and processing facilities in Southeast Asian countries. The location has not been confirmed.

Meanwhile, a separate Metal Bulletin source said that a Jiangxi Copper subsidiary is considering adding a 50,000-tonne-per-year blister copper and anode production capacity in Malaysia.

"It is still at a preliminary stage. The details are not disclosed yet. It is likely to be blister copper production using a feed of complex concentrates. The company is exploring various options in Malaysia," the source said.