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Mopani announces US$320million shaft expansion project

Mopani Copper
Mines “’ announces
new US$320 million
shaft expansion project
Lusaka, Zambia — 05 April 2012 – Mopani Copper Mines has announced a US$320 million expansion project on its synclinorium shafts project, which is expected to create more than 400 new jobs in that area of Zambia.

AllAfrica.com quotes the “Times of Zambia” as reporting that the synclinorium shaft is part of a US$2 billion recapitalisation programme at Mopani by its major shareholders, aimed not only at improving production, lowering unit costs and creating employment, but also at ensuring that mining was carried out in a safe and responsible manner.

Mopani CEO Danny Callow said in a statement here that Mopani was pleased to announce the milestone project, with the completion of the pre-sink stage at a depth of 81m.

“Once completed, the synclinorium shafts project will extend the life of Mopani’s Nkana operations by more than 25 years, well beyond the current expected depletion dates of the existing reserves at the Mindolo North, SOB and Central shafts of 2015, 2017 and 2018, respectively,” he revealed.

He said this would lead to securing of more than 3,000 jobs which could otherwise have been lost as a result of closure of the current mines.

Callow said the project would not only extend the life of the mine and provide the much needed employment, but would also extend and increase Government revenue through tax and other spillover benefits to the community.

As one of the biggest construction projects currently underway in Zambia, the shafts project involves construction of a 7m-diameter main shaft and a 6m-diameter ventilation shaft to a depth of 1, 277m, providing Mopani with access to some 115Mtof ore at a grade of 1.9% copper and 0.09% cobalt.

Once fully operational, the project would increase ore production at the Nkana mine site from 3.4Mtpa to around 5.1Mtpa by 2018. Commencement of the main sinking of the main shaft would be at the end of April this year.

"Our $323 million investment in this synclinorium shafts project which gives a new breath of life into mining at Nkana is a testimony of our faith in the Zambian economy and our commitment to the Zambian people," Mr Callow said.

Source:”Times of Zambia” through allAfrica.com. For more information click here.