Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 21 July 2008 – Zambian authorities have granted a licence for the new Mkushi copper project where production of copper concentrate is scheduled to start in mid-2010 and peak at 59 000 tonnes.
Bloomberg News reports that African Eagle Resources, which owns the mine jointly with CGA Mining Limited, confirmed here that the authorities in the mineral-rich southern African country had approved the licence application. “We duly acknowledged this notification and now await the conditions and fees to be set during the next phase of the approval process,” African Eagle said in a statement.
The statement added that mineral resources had been updated to 18.5 million tonnes at a grade of 0.83% copper. A consulting group carrying out the feasibility study for the process plant had made substantial progress, the statement said.
The statement went on to confirm that the new taxation system announced in Zambia earlier this year – which includes a minimum 25% windfall profit tax, and an increase to 3.0% from 0.6% in mineral royalties – would not negate the viability of the project.
African Eagle Resources Plc and CGA Mining initially plan to spend around US$61 million (R490 million) to develop the mine, where production of copper concentrate in the first two years is projected at 36 500 tonnes before rising to 59 000 tonnes, for the remainder of its six-year mine life.
Reuters quotes Mkushi project manager Simon Plunkett as saying that a feasibility study on the project will be concluded this year, and construction of a concentrator and mine development will start in 2009.
Preliminary findings of an environmental assessment report submitted to the Environment Council of Zambia showed that the Mkushi mine would produce copper concentrate containing up to 30% copper.