Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE)-listed junior copper miner, African Copper, announced that it would restart its operations at the Mowana Mine near Dukwi–which it shelved back in January–upon receiving $41 million in funding from mining investment firm Zambia Copper Investments Ltd (ZCI). The firm also reported a pretax profit of 27.7 million pounds ($45.91 million), compared with a loss of 2.6 million pounds last year, for the six months ending June 30.

Copper prices dropped from US$7,000 per ton at the beginning of the third quarter of last year to US$3,000/ton by the end of that quarter. But copper prices have double this year, and according to Zijin Mining Group, China’s largest gold producer, “a recovering world economy and loosening bank credit will bolster copper prices in the second half of the year.” The estimation echoes that of GFMS, a precious metals consultancy, which opined on Thursday that global copper supply was expected to fall increasingly short of demand from next year, which should see prices rising every year to 2012:

“In the short term, copper prices were expected to soften, with inventories reported by the London Metal Exchange (LME) now rising after a surge in Chinese imports earlier in the year while Chinese industry rebuilt depleted stocks. But the increase in the surplus was likely to be brief and a market deficit would become evident early next year,” GFMS said.

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