Japan 5 Smelters to Increase Copper Output in 1H

Japanese 8 nonferrous metals smelters announced the production plans for the half year to September by Thursday. Five smelters including Pan Pacific Copper, which integrates the copper smelting businesses of Nippon Mining & Metals and Mitsui Mining & Smelting in April, Mitsubishi Materials and Sumitomo Metal Mining increase the copper ingot output from same period of 2005. Toho Zinc and Sumitomo Metal Mining reduce the zinc output by 7-8% due to less availability of raw materials while Mitsui Mining & Smelting and Dowa Mining increase the zinc output due to the higher interests in the subsidiaries. Pan Pacific Copper increases the copper output by 3.3% to 291,800 tonnes in the half year from same period of 2005. The firm expects Tamano Smelter of Hibi Kyodo Smelting, of which Pan Pacific Copper controls 63.51%, will increase the output by 2.9% to 78,995 tonnes. Nippon Mining & Metals increases the copper output by 5.7% to 215,000 tonnes at Saganoseki Smelter & Refinery and Hitachi Works through the smelting subsidiary. Sumitomo Metal Mining, Mitsubishi Materials and Dowa Mining also increase the copper output for the first half. Sumitomo Metal Mining finishes the expansion to annual 410,000 tonnes at Toyo smelter increasing the output by 25.1% in the first half from same period of 2005. Mitsubishi Materials increases the output after the maintenance outage at Naoshima smelter in same period of 2005. Mitsui Mining & Smelting produces only 600 tonnes of copper at Takehara refinery in the first half after the firm transferred the copper smelting to Pan Pacific Copper. Mitsui Mining & Smelting increases the zinc output by 25.8% to 117,000 tonnes due to higher production by commissioning from Nippon Mining & Metals and Dowa Mining. Dowa Mining increases zinc output due to higher interest in Akita Zinc.