Kazakhstan expands its exports of cathode copper to China, Turkey and Latvia

Business news correspondent
In January 2024, Kazakhstan boosted its exports of cathode copper abroad by 42.9% / Photo: Shutterstock

In January 2024, Kazakhstan managed to boost its exports of cathode copper abroad from 29,200 tons to 41,700 tons (+42.9%) year-on-year, the Ministry of Industry and Construction reported, citing QazIndustry.

China is the absolute leader in terms of the volume of cathode copper it purchases from Kazakhstan. In January, this country bought 26,700 tons of the product, which is a 63.7% increase compared to 16,300 tons last year.

Turkey is the second-biggest importer of cathode copper from Kazakhstan. In January 2024, its imports amounted to 13,000 tons of copper, twice as much as last year. Latvia is the third biggest importer of cathode copper; its exports have soared from just 100 tons to 1,900 tons of copper.

There are three big copper producers in Kazakhstan: Kazakhmys Smelting  (Zheskazgan), Kazzink (Usk-Kamenogorsk) and Kounrad (Balkhash). All three companies produce cathode copper, which is widely used for electric cable and wire production.

Irkaz Metal Corporation, a Kazakhstani subsidiary of Iranian Kavand Nahan Zamin, also plans to boost its copper output. It runs a hydrometallurgical complex with a capacity of 5,000 tons of cathode copper per year at the Borly field in the Karaganda region. The company is now going to launch the third phase of production with a similar capacity of 5,000.

The $20 million mining complex has been operating since November 2022. Its current capacity is also 5,000 tons of cathode copper per year, while the Borly field’s mineral reserves are estimated at 115 million tons of ore with an average copper content of 0.35%.

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