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China's Western Mining cuts 2008 lead, zinc outpu

Updated: 2008-07-30 10:08

    Western Mining Co, China's second-largest lead miner, on Wednesday lowered its lead and zinc production forecast for 2008 after falling zinc concentrate prices cut first-half profits.

    Western Mining expects to produce 54,300 tonnes of zinc, down from its initially planned 70,000 tonnes, it said. Lead output is expected to be 35,300 tonnes, down from the originally planned 65,000 tonnes.

    Its manganese production plan has been cut to 10,700 tonnes from 15,000 tonnes, it said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

    Western Mining's net profit fell 16 percent to 720.2 million yuan ($105.5 million) for the first six months of the year, although revenues rose 80.5 percent from a year earlier to 6.2 billion yuan due to contributions from refining and trading operations, it said.

    The price of zinc concentrate, which accounts for more than 50 percent of the company's output, fell 50 percent year-on-year, it said. The rise in lead concentrate prices was not enough to offset the fall in zinc, the company said.

    Mining costs edged up due to inflation and China's measures to cool the economy, which included higher costs for borrowing.

    A unit of Goldman Sachs owns just over 8 percent of Western Mining. ($1=6.825 Yuan)


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