Message Mar 26 Avr 2011 08:17

Maamba may resume production of copper mining in Q1 of 2012

Maamba may resume production of copper mining in Q1 of 2012
Tuesday, 26 Apr 2011

Maamba Collieries of Zambia may resume production of the heating substance used in copper mining and industrial works in the Q1 of 2012 following recapitalization by part owners, Nava Bharat of Singapore.

The Company was last year shut down to refurbish equipment and ensures the project retains its reputation as leading coal producer in the Southern African region.

Mr Mooya Lubamba ministry of mines and minerals director safety department of Zambia said that machinery was being installed and would be producing the black mineral to support other sectors of the economy soon. Maamba collieries situated in Sinazongwe in Southern Zambia were undergoing massive rehabilitations and that most of the equipment had been installed.

The restarting of operations at Maamba Coal Mine was well on track and it is expected that normal production of coal would resume in the Q1 of next year with increased exports to various neighboring countries and meeting local market demand for the product.

The installation of new equipment will entail that the mine will assist overcome the biggest challenge faced by the country and its neighors for a long time in which mining companies and industries alike have been importing coal from among other countries, Zimbabwe to carry out production of goods and services including copper. Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo are among the countries Maamba Collieries has developed 300 MW thermal powers at the mine.

The revival of Maamba coal mine received a fillip from Nava Bharat after the Singapore based company bought 65 per cent shares for a value of USD 26 million in 2009. The Government through Zambia Consolidated Copper Mine Investment Holdings has retained 35% golden share in the privatized mine.

Maamba Collieries Limited was incorporated in 1971 under the ownership of the Government of Republic of Zambia through Zambia Industrial and Mining Corporation. The Company is located at Maamba town in Sinazongwe district of Southern Province which is about 350 kilometers from Lusaka the capital city of Zambia.

According to data, the Company was taken over by Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings in 2007. MCL is engaged in the mining and selling of coal to major industries in Zambia including copper smelters, chemicals, cement, breweries, textiles as well as exporting to neighboring countries.

The Company is the largest producer of coal in Zambia with estimated coal reserves of 65 million tonnes catering to the requirements of the above industries and an equal quantity of thermal grade coal. MCL also mines magnetite ore at Namantombwa near Mumbwa for use in coal washing. The main facilities at MCL comprise Heavy Earth Moving Equipment, Coal Processing Plant, Aerial Ropeway, Engineering Workshops, Water Treatment Plant Pump Station at Kariba Lake and other supporting infrastructure.

To enable MCL realize its full potential in coal mining and add value by use of lower grade coal for generation of power and thereby meeting the growing demand for power, Nava Bharat Private Limited joined as a strategic equity and technical partner by acquiring 65% equity stake in MCL from ZCCM-IH in April 2010.

Zambia possesses substantial coal resources and has been producing coal continuously since 1967. The bulk of the coal has come from the Maamba coal mine an open cast operation in the southern part of the country near Lake Kariba. The Maamba deposit and other known coal occurrences are confined exclusively to the lower Karoo Gwembe Formation within the series of fault controlled basins that comprise the Mid Zambezi Rift Valley.

The Maamba deposit occurs within the Kazinze Basin but coal seams have also been discovered in the adjacent basins. Thin coal seams and carbonaceous shales have also been identified in the lower Karoo of the Luangwa and Luano Lukusashi Valleys and in the eastern part of the Barotse Basin in western Zambia. Coal is mined at Maamba with a proven reserve of 20 tonnes. The coal is sub bituminous durain fusain with high ash content.