Santiago, Chile — MININGREVIEW.COM — 12 April 2010 – Dual listed on the Canadian (Toronto) and Australian stock exchanges, Equinox Minerals Limited “’ an international mining company focused on operating its 100%-owned Lumwana copper mine in Zambia “’ plans to expand the mine’s production, and is in talks with possible partners that will allow it to build a US$200 million (RR1.5 billion) uranium plant on the site.
This was revealed here by CEO Craig Williams in an interview with Reuters on the sidelines of the CRU/CESCO copper conference.
“We have doubled our exploration budget this year to US$10 million (R75 million) on the mining licence “’ really what we’ve got on our licence is the makings of a copper province; there is lots of opportunity there,” Williams said.
He explained that the company was looking to produce up to 150 000 to 170 000tpa of copper, and that over time it had a Phase II expansion plan that would push production to more than 200 000tpa over the next three to five years.
Equinox has reported a 37% jump in output at Lumwana to 30 471 tonnes of copper concentrate in the first quarter, and said the improved output indicated it could meet its full-year 2010 guidance of 135 000 tonnes, versus 109 413 tonnes in 2009.
“At the moment we are a one-mine company “’ the financial strength of the company is expanding very rapidly and I think it is appropriate now to be looking around for some geographical diversification. I’d like within a few years to have a second operation somewhere,” Williams said.
He added Equinox was in talks with off takers, or potential long-term buyers, to build a US$200 million (R1.5 billion) uranium plant in Zambia.