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China copper producer teams up with recycling institute

China – One of China’s largest copper producers, Lihua International, has signed a joint development agreement with the Beijing Modern Research Institute of Recycling Economy (RIORE), a national non-profit institution authorised by the country’s State Council to study and develop low-carbon opportunities to perpetuate a circular economy.

Under the agreement, Lihua and RIORE will establish a research and development centre at Lihua’s headquarters in Danyang to develop copper recycling technologies and applications which would become their joint property.

Lihua is in the process of constructing a new copper recycling facility which will double the company’s annual smelting capacity to 100 000 tonnes. Construction is under way and production is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

For sourcing copper scrap from international suppliers, meanwhile, Lihua is in the process of obtaining an import licence and is currently awaiting approval of the associated environmental licence. The company believes that it will be able to obtain the latter in the near term such that it can begin directly importing scrap copper in the second half of 2011.

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