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Brazilian multinational mining corporation Vale SA has begun production of copper concentrate, a raw version of commercial copper, at its Lubambe mine in Zambia
A Vale statement said, "The Lubambe mine is a joint venture with African Rainbow Minerals and Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines."
According to a Reuters report, production at the mine, which began on 4 October 2012, will be expected to lead to an annual output of 45,000 tonnes of concentrate.
The report added that Vale’s efforts to increase copper production were part of a strategy of the company to diversify into other commodities from iron ore, which has been its chief product till now.
"Iron ore, however, still accounts for about 90 per cent of Vale’s profits and nearly three-quarters of its revenues currently," said Vale.
In addition to copper, Vale in recent years has pushed into coal and fertiliser production.