Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 23 December 2009 – Zambia’s Chinese-owned Baluba copper mine is planning to double its annual finished copper output to about 40 000 tonnes per year over a period of five years starting in 2011.
Luo Xingeng “’ CEO of China Nonferrous Mining Corporation (CNMC), which owns the Baluba mine “’ said the company was planning to raise output from the 21 000 tpa the mine had produced before its closure.
“Our production will be 20 000 tonnes starting from next year, and in the next five years we are projecting 40 000 tonnes of finished copper per annum,” he added in a statement.
The mine also plans to ramp copper ore output up to 20 000 tonnes per day by 2010 from the current 5 000 tonnes per day.
Baluba resumed output two weeks ahead of schedule last week after CNMC had modernised the copper processing plant.
The company revealed in November that it had spent about US$70 million (R525 million) on the rehabilitation and replacement of equipment and would complete a full overhaul of the processing plant, which had not been renovated for many years.
The mine started blasting for copper in August, having exhausted all the developed underground reserves when it was closed and placed on care and maintenance last December.
CNMC says it plans to spend a total of US$400 million ((R3 billion) on Baluba and its Mulyashi project, which has yet to be developed.