Message Mer 16 Sep 2009 07:51

finished copper at 80 cents/pound from 2011

KCM hires SA firm to mine Open Pit A

By Business Reporter

KONKOLA Copper Mines (KCM) has engaged South African mining contractor Moolmans to mine Chingola Open Pit A as part of the company’s drive to achieve annual output of 500,000 tonnes per annum at 80 cents per pound from 2011.

Moolmans is part of US$3.4 million project under the Aveng Group and comes with vast experience in the field, having worked with all major giants in open pit metal mining.

They join another mining contractor of international repute working at the Chingola Open Pits, Brazilian contractor U&M.

According to a statement released in Lusaka yesterday by KCM head of corporate affairs and company spokesperson Rahul Kharkar, Moolmans commenced operations at the site, located on the Chingola-Chililabombwe road on September 1, under a performance-based contract to mine 34 million tonnes of rock in two years.

This ore will be treated at the existing Tail Leaching Plant at Nchanga.
“Moolmans is one of the largest open cast mining concerns in Africa and moving approx 13-14 million tonnes of rock and earth each month.

“Their involvement with KCM will create more employment opportunities and help us achieve our ambition of producing 500,000 tonnes of finished copper at 80 cents/pound from 2011,” Mr Kharkar said.

In July, KCM engaged Brazilian firm U&M to mine Chingola Open Pit (COP) F& D of both waste and copper ore down to a 345m bench, in addition to an already running contract to mine overburden in the same area.

Mr Kharkar said the engagement of Moolmans and U&M would boost the company’s efforts to achieve the objectives of the “Tubombe Tusunge’ cost-saving initiatives launched a few months ago.

“Under the ‘Tubombe Tusunge’ initiative, KCM is moving towards engaging world-class contractors to develop a world-class operation,” Mr Kharkar said.

Zambia used to produce over 700,000 tonnes per-annum in the 1970s, when it was one of the top four producers of copper in the world.

The 500,000 target for 2011 would account for 50 per cent of the projected national output as the country looks to regain its global position after years of falling production.

KCM is also looking to raise its cobalt output to 5,000 tonnes per annum as a credit from its recently commissioned direct-to-blister 300,000 tonnes-per-annum smelter based at Nchanga, Chingola.