Expansion plans for Zambian projects
Tuesday, 02 August 2011 10:37
Further proof of commitment to investment in development of copper mining operations, raising production through improved infrastructure
Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) is expanding to meet demand, injecting fresh investments in its operations of about one billion dollars to raise copper output to 400,000 tonnes per annum by 2012.
The mining giant’s chief executive officer Kishore Kumar disclosed that these investments to take place in the next three to four years would focus on expansion and upgrade to propel KCM into the major global copper producer realm. Funds are committed to the Chingola Refractory Ore project, development of the bottom shaft loading facility at the Konkola Deep Mining Project (KDMP), East and West Mill upgrades at Nchanga in Chingola, and on exploration.
Investment and exploration
“We see the need to invest another $1bn in the next three to four years. It is our desire that our operations must expand beyond the existing boundaries, additional areas will be required to carry out exploration for increasing the mineral resource base,” he pointed out.
Investing in mining growth KCM’s mine life, which was recently extended to 2035 from 2012, after developing new projects, including the KDMP, could be further boosted through these projects. The firm has already committed millions of dollars to repair old infrastructure and reinforce existing pipelines.
Such investment could Zambia would raise its copper production, thus ranking among major global copper producers such as Chile. The country’s copper output is expected to reach one million tonnes by 2012 from a projected 700,000 tonnes in 2010.
This follows major expansions and upgrades by mining companies such as KCM and other foreign miners operating in the southern African country. KCM is also seeking ways of ensuring local beneficiation of copper in a bid to add value and to help create more jobs and wealth - providing training support to young Zambian in metallurgy, helping with more training to plug the skills shortage mines are facing.