Vancouver, Canada — 23 March 2012 – The US$500 million First Quantum Minerals (FQM) smelter at Kansanshi Mine in Solwezi is set for completion in 2014, just in time to meet the increased production targets at one of Zambia’s largest copper mines.
FQM is an established and growing mining and metals company currently operating three mines and developing four projects worldwide. The company’s Kansanshi mine “’ the world’s 8th largest copper mine “’ is 80% owned by Kansanshi Mining plc, an FQM subsidiary. The other 20% is owned by a subsidiary of Zambian state-owned ZCCM Investments Holdings plc.
According to an FQM statement released here and reported by allAfrica.com citing “The Times of Zambia”, the new smelter, which will have capacity to process almost 400, 000tpa of copper would be ready by 2014.
FQM president, Clive Newall said the smelter, with capacity to process 1.2Mt of concentrates yielding more than 300,000t of copper annually, has commenced with key long lead equipment items tendered and detailed engineering design.
He added that the mine ramp-up had already been initiated and that the smelter would process copper concentrates produced at the soon-to-be expanded Kansanshi mine and at the company’s upcoming Sentinel project.
Currently, First Quantum sends its copper concentrates to be processed at various Zambian smelters on the Copperbelt owned by other companies.
“With construction underway at Kansanshi to expand annual copper production capacity, a need for a bigger smelter is inevitable,” he said.
Presently, Kansanshi produces about 250,000t of copper yearly and the expansion project is expected to raise annual output to about 400,000t by 2015.
Apart from copper processing, the smelter will produce more than 3,000t a day of sulphuric acid at almost zero cost, allowing Kansanshi to treat high acid-consuming oxide ores as well as leach some mixed ores.
Source: “Times of Zambia” through allAfrica.com. For further details click here.