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Kansanshi Mining Plc, a subsidiary of First Quantum Minerals (FQM) and ZCCM-Investments Holdings, is to construct a tailings storage facility (TSF) at its Kansanshi Copper Mine in Solwezi, north-western Zambia at a cost of about $25mn
This facility is required for storage of additional mineral processing waste known as tailings that will be produced in view of increased production at the mine, one of the key ones in the country.
According to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) submitted to the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) recently, the TSF project is estimated to cost to cost between $20 million and $25 million will create 200 jobs during the construction period.
The mine currently comprises two open pits, treatment plants, a sulphide tailings storage facility and an oxide TSF.
“The new TSF will be located east of the mine with a capacity of approximately 200 tonnes of tailings, covering an area of approximately 600 hectares, with a maximum height of 40 metres and operational for approximately 20 years. It is proposed that a tailings delivery pipeline be installed to transport tailings from the processing plant to the TSF. The pipeline is expected to be approximately 13km long, above ground and made of high density polyethylene material,” the EIS reads in part.
The proposed project site is located about 1 km from Mbonge and Kabwela settlements and requires resettlement of more than 50 households. The proposed development will also result in the re-routing of the road from Solwezi to the Democratic Republic of Congo. It will be constructed in a shallow valley located on the eastern side of the current mine development.
Other infrastructure power support for the TSF will be provided from the mine through a 33 kilowatt power line to be routed along TSF delivery pipeline.
By Nawa Mutumweno