Brazilian copper producer Paranapanema plans to expand its cathode capacity to 320,000 tpy by 2016, from today’s 280,000 tpy.

About $40 million will be invested in the expansion of Brazil’s sole copper smelter and refinery, located in Camaçari, in the northeastern state of Bahia, said company cfo Mario Lorencatto, speaking on the sidelines of Metal Bulletin’s copper concentrates conference on Thursday October 3.

“We will be sourcing copper [for the expanded capacity] from our local mine [in Brazil], he said.

“By 2016, we will be sourcing 25,000 tpy of contained copper from a mine in which I will have 50% ownership,” he added, while declining to give further details of the deal with the mine. 

Brazil’s sole copper smelter and refinery currently sources 65% of its copper concentrates from Chile, 25% from Brazil and the balance from Canada, Portugal and Peru.

He expects to source more copper from mines in Peru and from Brazil.

“The TC/RCs will have to improve but I can’t say to what level,” he said, adding that he expects TC/RCs to rise next year.

“We have an efficient copper smelter but it’s still not a sexy return [at current levels of TC/RC],” he added.

The company has recently ramped up its copper tube production to 36,000 tpy from 16,000 tpy and will be looking at expanding its other downstream capacities, he said.

“We are expanding our capacity to produce copper wire. We are going to build two new plants for laminated products and eventually build another plant to produce copper bars,” he said.

“We are going to be in mining, primary, refined and then products and that will be a unique animal,” he said.

Shivani Singh
Twitter: @ShivaniSingh_MB