HomeBase MetalsFire delays Lumwana copper project

Fire delays Lumwana copper project

The Lumwana copper
project in north-
western Zambia
Toronto, Canada — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 July 2008 – Canadian (Toronto) and Australian-listed Equinox Minerals Limited – an international exploration and mine development company – has announced a delay in the completion of its Lumwana copper project in north-western Zambia.

A company announcement released here and in Perth reported that a fire had caused damage to the 20MVA transformer and adjacent 11kV substation yesterday.

The above equipment forms part of the process plant facility currently being commissioned by the company’s EPC contractor, the Ausenco Bateman Joint Venture. “While no further information is available at this stage, we anticipate a delay to project completion and handover as a result of this incident,” the announcement added. “We are awaiting further advice from the contractor regarding remedial measures and schedule implications.”

Production was scheduled to have started within the next month.

Equinox says the Lumwana mine will produce an average 188 000 tpa of copper in concentrate for the first five years. The mine was expected to ramp up to full production by the end of 2008, making it the largest copper mine in Africa. Over the life of mine of 17 years, Lumwana is forecast to produce 150 000 tpa of copper.

Pre-production capital costs for the Lumwana copper project have been pegged at US$762 million (R6 billion). This includes the mining fleet in which a total of US$160 million (almost R1.3 billion) will be invested.

The size and extent of the Lumwana project speak for themselves. Measured resources amount to 129.5 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.89%, while indicated resources amount to an additional 228.6 million tonnes at 0.68%. Added to this are inferred resources of 564.4 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.63%, giving a total of just under 14 million pounds of copper in the ground.