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KINSHASA, Sept 9 Copper production in Democratic
Republic of Congo, Africa's top producer, will fall an estimated
1.7 percent in 2016 to 978,414 tonnes due to low prices, the
chamber of mines said on Friday.
Falling output and prices of copper and other commodities
have forced the government to slash its economic growth
projection for this year to 4.3 percent, from 9 percent
previously. The budget has also been cut by 22 percent.
The industry group said in a quarterly report that copper
production had dropped by 4.5 percent in the first half of 2016.
However, the central bank said last month that output had fallen
nearly 14 percent over that same period.
It was not clear what accounted for the discrepancy.
Stubbornly low copper prices have led several large mines in
the country's southeast to pause operations over the last year.
Glencore Plc announced last month that it would
delay resuming production at its Katanga Mining unit to
early 2018. It had originally announced an 18-month suspension
beginning last September.
But the chamber said that those losses have been partially
offset by increased production at some of the most
industrialised mines, including Sicomines, the mining side of a
$6 billion 'minerals-for-infrastructure' deal between the
government and Chinese companies, which came online last
(Reporting by Aaron Ross; Editing by Tim Cocks and Joe Bavier)