LUSAKA, July 13 (Reuters) - Copper production at Equinox Minerals' (EQN.TO) (EQN.AX) Lumwana mine in Zambia, Africa's largest copper producer, rose 59 percent in the first half of 2010 due to improved efficiency, the company said.
The company, which has forecast its annual output would beat that of last year said in a statement seen by Reuters on Tuesday production rose to 74,306 tonnes in the first half of 2010 from 46,676 tonnes in the same period of 2009.
Copper production in the second quarter of 2010 was 80 percent higher than the corresponding quarter of 2009 and 44 percent higher than the first quarter of this year, the company said.
"Improvements in mobile equipment availability, equipment utilization and productivity all contributed to the improvement in material mined," Equinox said.
The company, which produced 109,413 tonnes of copper in 2009, said it was maintaining the production estimate of 135,000 tonnes of copper at the Lumwana mine in 2010.
Other foreign mining companies operating in Zambia include Canada's First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO), London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc (VED.L), Metorex (MTXJ.J) of South Africa and Glencore International AG [GLEN.UL] of Switzerland.