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Brazilians to mine Zambian copper

Casting at Konkola’s
new Nchanga Smelter
Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 17 August 2009 – Zambia’s leading copper producer, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has contracted Brazil’s U & M Mining to assist it in mining for copper in the Southern African  country, as it seeks to raise output to 500 000 tonnes per annum by 2011.

In a statement issued here, KCM also reiterated its plans to push cobalt output to 5 000 tonnes per annum, after starting operations at its 300 000 tonnes per year Nchanga copper smelter. It gave no figures for current cobalt production.

“Under the contract, U & M Mining will mine two areas of the vast Chingola open pit over a period of three years,” said the statement issued by KCM acting manager for open pits, Obino Kalela.

Kalela added that U & M Mining would mine the two areas for both waste and copper ore, while Konkola would now concentrate on the Nchanga open pit mine, which produced copper and was the company’s main source of cobalt.

KCM “’ which also operates the Nchanga open pit, Konkola copper mine and the satellite Fitwaola mine “’ is a unit of London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc,which is developing the Konkola Deep Copper Project (KMDP), touted as Africa’s deepest copper mine.

KCM says about US$500 million (R4 billion) will be spent on developing the KDMP.

Reuters reports that Konkola is implementing several projects, which it says will raise its output   to 500 000 tonnes “’ or half of Zambia’s total planned production “’ by 2011 from the current 200 000 tonnes per year.