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UPDATE 1-Japan's Mitsubishi Materials expects H2 copper output to rise 14 pct y/y
October 2, 2017 / 4:23 AM / in 22 days

UPDATE 1-Japan's Mitsubishi Materials expects H2 copper output to rise 14 pct y/y

    * Copper output to rise due to higher capacity at Onahama
    * Conducting 21 days of maintenance at Onahama from Oct. 21
    * Gold output to rise due to higher slime supply from
Indonesia

 (Adds comment, detail)
    TOKYO, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Japan's Mitsubishi Materials Corp
 said on Monday it plans to produce 181,830 tonnes of
refined copper during October-March, up 14 percent from the same
period last year as it boosts its smelting capacity.
    Japan's third-biggest copper smelter expects output at its
Naoshima smelter and refinery in western Japan to rise 10
percent, while production at its Onahama plant, north of Tokyo,
will increase by 22 percent, it said in a statement.
    The Onahama plant is jointly owned with Dowa Holdings Co Ltd
 and Furukawa Co Ltd.
    As part of an agreement between the partners, Mitsubishi
Materials is gradually taking some of the smelting capacity
previously assigned to Dowa, starting from the last financial
year.
    "Copper demand in the domestic market has been steady," said
a spokesman at Mitsubishi Materials.
    The company carried out 27 days of maintenance at the
Naoshima plant from March 20 and it plans to begin 21 days of
maintenance at the Onahama facility from Oct. 21.
    "The planned maintenance will have limited impact on
second-half output (relative to last year) as the Onahama plant
went through a 14-day maintenance period in the second half of
the last financial year," the spokesman said. 
    Mitsubishi Materials plans to increase its gold output as it
expects higher supply of anode slime, a byproduct of copper
concentrate processing that includes other metals such as gold
and silver, to come from the Gresik smelter in Indonesia.
    That smelter is run by PT Smelting, which is 60.5-percent
owned by Mitsubishi Materials. It stopped exporting anode slime
from Jan. 11 to March 7 due to new rules introduced by the
Indonesian government, the company spokesman said.
    At the Naoshima plant, the Japanese company extracts gold
and silver from anode slime, providing it with additional
revenues.
    "We expect to receive higher volume of slime from Gresik in
the second half," the spokesman added.
    Mitsubishi Materials' output plan is detailed below, with
comparisons against planned production in the first half of the
financial 2017/18 year and actual production in the second half
of 2016/17.
 (Copper and lead in tonnes, gold and silver in kilograms):
    
            H2 FY17/18  H1 FY17/18   H2 FY16/17
   Copper      181,830     177,186      159,582
     Lead       13,380      13,728       12,744
     Gold       29,748      24,798       21,420
   Silver      201,000     190,998      182,286
 

 (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Joseph Radford)
  

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