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Chinese Company Inks US$220m Deal with Zambian Gov't
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China Nonferrous Metal Mining (Group) Co. Ltd. (CNMC), China's state-owned nonferrous metal giant, signed on Tuesday a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Zambian government to establish a copper smelting plant in Zambia.


The signing ceremony was witnessed in Beijing by Zambian President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, Chinese ambassador in Zambia Li Baodong and Zambian ambassador in China David C. Saviye.


According to the MOU, CNMC will invest US$220 million to establish a crude copper smelting plant at the Chambishi Mine in Zambia.


With an annual crude copper production capacity of 150,000 tons, construction on the smelting plant is expected to start this month, and the plant is expected to go into operation at the end of 2008, said the MOU.


Zambian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mundia Sikatana, who signed the memorandum on behalf of the Zambian government, said that the Zambian government welcomes the investment from Chinese companies, and believes Zambia will benefit a lot from expanding economic cooperation between Zambia and China.


He also noted that the China-Africa Forum, which just concluded in Beijing with a number of agreements, will surely deepen the cooperation and friendship between Africa and China.


Luo Tao, President of CNMC, said at the signing ceremony the smelting plant will help create 1,000 jobs for Zambian people, and increase Zambia's export by 450 million dollars.


CNMC's total investment in Zambia is expected to exceed US$400 million.


Prior to the new deal, CNMC had invested about US$200 million in Zambia for the development of the Chambishi mine and leaching plant, which have provided 2,500 job opportunities for Zambia and registered tax revenue of nearly US$20 million. CNMC also donated about 400 million Kwacha (US$101,000) for local public welfare.


At the signing ceremony, Chinese ambassador in Zambia Li Baodong and Zambian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mundia Sikatana also signed two agreements expanding bilateral cooperation. 


(Xinhua News Agency November 8, 2006)


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