Konkola copper mine 
Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 13 July 2010 – Brazilian mining giant Vale is planning to invest US$400 million (R3 billion) in Zambia’s Konkola North copper project, which is expected to start producing copper in the first half of 2013.

Executive director Eduardo Ledsham said here while visiting Zambia that the Konkola North project “’ Vale’s joint-venture with African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) “’ was the first of a series of projects Vale planned to develop in Africa.

“Our goal is to start implementation of the project in September this year and to begin production by 2013. The capital required is around US$400 million (R3 billion), which we will invest in two and half years,” he revealed during a business meeting in the capital.

“We will be starting with 50 000 tonnes of copper per year before going to 100 000 tonnes in the second phase, when we expand the mine by 2015,” Ledsham said. He added that the Konkola North underground mine would employ about 1,500 people once its development started.

Ledsham went on to say that Vale was also involved in exploration work, and planned to invest in nickel mining in Zambia after completing the copper mine.

Diversified South African miner ARM said in May that it planned to divest from a gold project in Namibia by June, and then finalise the development of the Konkola copper project with Vale.

Copper mining is Zambia’s economic mainstay and the mines are a major employer in this southern African country of 12 million people.