China plans US$100 million Zambian copper project

Chinese copper development in ZambiaForeign investment has put Zambia on track to becoming the world's fifth top copper producer. (Image source: Andy Putnam)China Copper Mines looks set to build a US$100 million plant in Zambia, with the expected production capacity of 600 tonnes of copper cathodes per annum

The private Chinese mining firm has applied to build a plant in Zambia, the continent’s largest copper producer, that will exploit five mineral waste dumps in the Fitula open pits situated in the Copperbelt province, according to the Zambian environmental management agency (ZEMA).

In a statement the ZEMA said, “Key production processes will include crushing, screening, heap-leaching, solvent extraction and electro-winning of mineral resource.”

An inspector at the agency, James Mwale, speaking to Dow Jones Newswires, said, "The project's environmental impact assessment report is currently being evaluated and construction will start as soon as we approve it."

This news comes days after Zambian officials announced that considerable foreign investment into the mining sector had put the south African country on track to become the fifth top copper-producing nation on the globe over the next three years.

Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) Multi-Facility Economic Zones manager, Robert Banda, said, "Zambia is expected to produce 1.5 million tonnes of copper by 2015 and currently its nominal GDP is at $19.2 billion.”

Recent significant Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) into the Zambian copper industry includes $2 billion from China Nonferrous Metal Mining Group, $3 billion from the Canada-based First Quantum Minerals, and $2 billion from the Indian mining company Vedanta.

Banda added, "We would like to urge foreign investors to come and invest in Zambia, because the country has a positive and investor-friendly economic environment.”

 

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