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Zambia to top Africa

HONE SIAME, NKWETO MFULA, Lusaka, Chingola
VEDANTA Resources chief executive officer Tom Albanese says Zambia has immense potential to restore its position as Africa’s largest copper producer if all smelters in the country operate at full capacity.


And Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Christopher Yaluma says increased production at Kalumbila Mine is expected to boost Zambia’s copper yields from 774,000 to about 850,000 tonnes by the end of this year, reports KALONDE NYATI in London.
Mr Albanese, who is Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) chairman, told a mining international conference in the United Kingdom yesterday that Zambia has world-class copper deposits which make it one of the best mining investment destinations.
He said Vedanta’s objective is to increase its annual copper production at KCM to 400,000 tonnes, which will quadruple the firm’s production over the next three to seven years.
This is according to a statement released yesterday by KCM public relations and communications manager Shapi Shachinda.
“It is this unique knowledge of the copper industry that draws miners from across the world and underpins the compact in the sector. This compact forms the basis for the creation of shared value in Zambia,” Mr Albanese said.
He said KCM is working with engineering consultants to review some of the technologies it can employ to boost production.
Mr Albanese said countries like Zambia, which forge industrial strategies aimed at diversifying their economies and building domestic and cross-border value chains, stand to flourish in the current subdued global metals market.
“I expect Zambia to fall into this category,” Mr Albanese said.
He said Vedanta’s focus will be on ramping up KCM’s flagship Konkola Deep Mine and working closely with local communities to help diversify the economy by supporting initiatives in agriculture and technology.
Vedanta has invested over US$3 billion in KCM on mine expansions and upgrades, which include the Nchanga Copper Smelter, three concentrators and a tailings leach plant, and is set to invest an additional US$1 million in the mine.
“We want to mine deeper, specifically at the Konkola deep underground mine. This ranks among the world’s top 20 in terms of grade, with a delineated volume of around 300 million tonnes of ore. While our shaft is 1,500 metres deep, our deepest production level today is at 950 metres. Our target is to reach a level of development at 1,100 metres,” Mr Albanese said.
And Mr Yaluma said copper production in Zambia, which last year stood at 774,289 tonnes is expected to increase further this year.
He said Zambia’s mining industry is poised for growth driven by prudent steps by Government to create and maintain a favourable investment climate.
“There are currently 12 large scale copper mines, two large emerald mines, two large coal mines and five limestone mines. The industry has also seen the opening of greenfield operations and these developments would have not come without Government’s prudent steps,” he said.
And ZCCM-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) chief executive officer Pius Kasolo said the firm is building a multi-commodity approach to ensure resilience.
Dr Kasolo said ZCCM-IH is undertaking a number of projects in energy, manufacturing and real estate as part of its diversification strategy.
He also said ZCCM-IH is looking for strategic partners to solidify the projects.
Meanwhile, Sable Zinc Kabwe Limited has invested US$1.2 million into its new processing technology that will see the company create 35 additional jobs for the local people.
Company general manager David Litteford said in a statement yesterday that the new investment demonstrates his company’s commitment to the growth of the country’s mining sector and job creation.

 



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