Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 17 December 2009 – One of Zambia’s top miners “’ Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) “’ is to launch the extension of one of its mines in April under plans to double annual finished copper output to about 500 000 tonnes by 2011.
Revealing this in an interview here, minister of mines Maxwell Mwale told Reuters that KCM “’ a unit of London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc “’ had invested US$1.5 billion (R11.25 billion) in new initiatives, including the Konkola deep mining project (KDMP) which was expected to extend the mine life of KCM by 23 years.
Mwale said the KDMP, which involved deepening one of the shafts to 1 460 metres, was forecast to produce 180 000 tonnes of copper per year when the mine reached maximum output in 2011. “The deep mining project will be commissioned in April next year, and after that KCM will start ramping up production until it reaches full output sometime in 2011,” Mwale explained.
Reuters reports that KCM data showed that Konkola mine had been mined down to 950m at its south number one shaft and 590m at the North number three shaft. The mining firm now wanted to reach the ore body beneath the one currently being mined.
Mwale said that apart from investing in the KDMP, part of the US$1.5 billion (R11.25 billion) had gone into the construction of a smelter with a capacity of 300 000 tpa, and a concentrator at Nchanga mine in Chingola
KCM operates the Konkola copper mine, the satellite Fitwaola mine and the Nampundwe pyrite mine. It has also started reclaiming refractory ores at the Nchanga open pit to produce more copper.