Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 23 April 2010 – Zambia’s Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) “’ majority owned by London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc “’ has completed expanding its Nkana refinery capacity by two thirds from 180 000 to 300 000 tpa.
KCM chief executive officer Kishore Kumar said in a statement following a visit to the mine by Zambian President Rupiah Banda that the expansion, which cost US$43 million (R320 million), was part of the company’s plan to raise total copper production to 500 000 tonnes by 2012 from the 173 000 the tonnes produced in the year ended 31 March 2010.
KCM said previously that it wanted to raise total output to 500 000 tonnes by 2011, but Kumar did not explain the change of dates.
Kumar said that the work at the refinery involved the physical expansion of the plant and the installation of new modern equipment to improve efficiency in the production of refined copper.
“We are on course to produce 500 000 tonnes of finished copper by 2012 and currently we are working on various projects that will ensure that we increase our capacity to hoist ore from underground,” Kumar added.
Banda said his government would continue to support projects in the mining industry, which was the country’s economic lifeblood.
In a separate statement he said that the mining sector was growing and Zambia “’ Africa’s top copper producer “’ was on course to recapture its former status as one of the leading global copper producers.
KCM also operates the Nchanga smelter, the Nchanga open pit, Konkola copper mines and the satellite Fitwaola mine.