Toronto, Canada — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 December 2008 – Africa’s biggest emerging copper mine – Lumwana in north-west Zambia – has produced the first copper concentrate from its process plant. Lumwana is fully owned by Equinox Minerals Limited – an international exploration and mine development company which is dual-listed on the Canadian (Toronto) and Australian stock exchanges.
Making the announcement here, company president and CEO Craig Williams confirmed that wet commissioning of the final stage of Lumwana’s process plant filter-press had commenced last week, resulting in an initial production of approximately 66 tonnes of copper concentrate at a grade of approximately 41% and moisture content of 9%.
Within two days some1300 tonnes had been produced, and wet commissioning and production ramp-up activities are continuing.
In July, the company announced a six-month delay in the completion of its project after a fire had caused damage to a 20MVA transformer and adjacent 11kV substation at its process plant..
Equinox says the Lumwana mine will produce an average 188 000 tpa of copper in concentrate for the first five years. Over the life of mine of 17 years, it is forecast to produce 150 000 tpa of copper. Production costs for the Lumwana copper project have been pegged at more than US$762 million (R7.9 billion).