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Non-Ferrous Corporation Africa (NFCA) of China has commissioned its West Ore Body facility in Chambishi on the Zambian Copperbelt.
President Rupiah Banda officiated at the ceremony instructing the investors to put in place safe work practices to ensure protection of both the human resource and the environment.
“Government will take stern measures against those who choose to compromise on safety and environmental standards by adopting unsafe occupational practices for the sake of profit,” President Banda warned.
The opening of the Chambishi west ore body has revived productive underground mining operations, employing 1,500 people and producing one million tonnes of ore annually with a life span of 25 years.
According to China Non-Ferrous Metal Mining (CNMC) Group president Luo Tao, the company would also put up an additional $400mn in the development of the south-east ore body of Chambishi Copper Mine whose completion would bring the total copper production to 100,000 tonnes.
The company has invested $1.4 bn in Zambia and an additional one billion dollars would be invested in the next three years through the construction of Chambishi sub-zone and Lusaka sub-zone of cooperation, Muliashi leaching project in Luanshya, expansion of the Chambishi Copper Smelter and the south east ore body development.
“By the end of 2013, CNMC’s total investment in Zambia will surpass $2.5bn with over 20,000 job opportunities provided,” he elaborated. Earlier, NFCA chief executive officer Wang Chunla said the mine was expected to produce one million tonnes of ore with 18,000 tonnes of finished copper.
The mine would pay $10mn to the government as an annual mineral royalty and corporate tax.
By Nawa Mutumweno