A copper mine joint venture between Metallurgical Corporation of China (McC) and Jiangxi Copper in Afghanistan plans to start production of copper concentrate in 2013.

This is two years later than the end-2011 start-up date stated in September by MCC president Shen Heting, but in line with a timetable given in March by Jiangxi, reports Reuters.

MCC executive Zeng Tao said the first phase of the Aynak copper mining project would have a designed annual capacity of 200,000t of copper concentrate.

Tao added it is expected to take two to three years to reach production capacity, according to Reuters.

The annual capacity could be expanded to 320,000t of copper in the second phase, depending on a further feasibility study, Tao said.

The Aynak mine is one of the largest copper mines in the world, with proven reserves of nine million tons of copper.