SHANGHAI, May 7 (Reuters) - China's Yunnan Copper plans to increase production capacity at its unit in the southern province of Guangdong to 500,000 tonnes in three to five years, a senior company executive said on Friday.
The first phase of the plant, with an annual capacity of 100,000 tonnes, is scheduled to be launched on July 1, Sun Maosong, party secretary of Guangdong Qingyuan Yunnan Copper Nonferrous Metals Company, told a conference.
The first phase will use crude copper from the Chambishi copper smelter in Zambia, a joint venture between Yunnan Copper and China Nonferrous Metals Group.
"We will use scrap copper as part of the feed in the second and third phases," Sun told reporters on the sidelines of the conference.
"China's copper resource is limited and imported copper concentrate is unable to catch up with the growing production capacity," Sun said.
Yunnan Copper Group, China's third-largest copper producer, is the parent of Shenzhen-listed Yunnan Copper.