Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 09 January 2009 – Zambia’s Lumwana copper mine – one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper deposits, and ranked by many as Africa’s biggest emerging copper mine – is expected to produce 170 000 tonnes of copper metal in concentrate in 2009.
Reuters reports from here that the mine – fully owned by Equinox Minerals Limited of Australia – has commenced pre-production tests, and is stockpiling crushed copper ore in preparation for commissioning and final copper production later this month.
Equinox said in a statement that production was progressing smoothly after the mine had been commissioned late last year. Concentrate grade and specifications were in line with design expectations and off-take agreements.
The company told Reuters that concentrate deliveries to off-take customers had started in December, and long-term contract deliveries would start this month to the new Chinese-owned Chambishi copper smelter, with interim deliveries of concentrate going to international metal traders’ facilities under short-term contracts.
Equinox went on to say that it was optimistic that Zambian authorities would honour a development agreement it had signed with the country to maintain lower taxes. Zambia has exempted Lumwana from paying export tax for its concentrate, and has also exempted it from import and excise duty on fuel and electricity.