The China Non-ferrous Metals Company Limited (CNMC), through its subsidiary NFC Africa, launched output at a new US $832m copper mine in Zambia. This, according to media reports, serves to extend the firm’s lifespan by over 20 years.
Zambia, Africa’s second-largest producer of the metal, saw a 10.6% increase in output in the first half of the year. This was on the back of stable power supply and relatively higher metal prices in recent months.
The NFC Africa spokesman John Mtonga said that trial production begun last week at Chambishi South-East Mine. The mine is expected to produce 60,000 tonnes of copper at full capacity by 2020. He further added that NFC Africa currently mines at the Chambishi Main Mine and Chambishi West Mine. The company had also been developing the Chambishi South-East Mine.
Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu said during the launch that NFC Africa had so far invested more than US $500m of the total planned project investment of US $832m in the project. This is about 400 km (250 miles) northwest of Lusaka.
The South East Ore Body has copper ore reserves estimated at more than 76m tonnes. This, according to the company statement, is at an average grade of 2.18%. The statement was recorded in a document submitted to the environmental agency.
Other foreign mining companies operating in Zambia include Canada’s First Quantum Minerals, Glencore, Barrick Gold and Vedanta Resources.