BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
LUBAMBE Copper Mine Limited has announced that it has discovered new copper deposits in Chililabombwe containing 200 million tonnes of ore.
Company chief executive officer, Nick Bowen, also announced that
Lubambe copper mine limited chief executive officer, Nick Bowen, disclosed that the mining of the new copper ore would commence next year with an initial capital of over US$500 million.
Mr Bowen explained that the mine, once completed, will produce between 1, 000 and 150,000 tonnes of copper per year for at least 30 years.
He said that the new mine, which will be an extension project for Lubambe Copper Mine, would take four to five years to develop and is expected to create 2,000 jobs once completed.
Mr. Bowen was speaking in Lusaka yesterday when he met President Edgar Lungu at State House.
“And from all of the work we do around the world, that is a world class ore body and we are now working very hard to complete the feasibility study and everything is looking very positive for us,” Mr. Bowen said.
Mr. Bowen said, “We are waiting for the approvals and we are doing how to get some funding to complete the feasibility study. We are most likely going to start constructing that mine in 2020.”
According to Mr Bowen, the Lubambe Copper Mine’s target this year, is to produce 36,000 tonnes of copper compared to the 22,000 tonnes produced last year.
He also disclosed that the mine expects to achieve its designed capacity of 45,000 tonnes of copper per annum in 2020.
Mr. Bowen explained that, “there is two parts to Lubambe so it acquired it’s 80 percent shareholding in December 2017 and that was a US $100 million acquisition and since that time we have invested another US$55 million in the mine meant to lift the production in the existing mine. To achieve that production, this year we will spend another US$50 million of capita to grow that mine.”
On the new mining tax regime, Mr Bowen said, “we need to work together with Government and understand their objectives to get more income for Zambians, it is matter of working together to allow us to grow and get the right share to Government.”
Meanwhile, President Lungu expressed happiness at the news and assured Lubambe Copper Mine that his government would help deal with any hitched it may have in its operations.
He said that government was keen to create a conducive business environment to ensure that the mines thrive and make profits.
“Most mines bring bad news and it is good that for the first time I have met a developer who brings god news,” said President Lungu.
“If you have any hitches along the way, please let us know and see how we can help,’ he stated.