April 8, 2011 / 12:08 PM / 9 years ago

Zambia's Konkola plans $172 mln copper project

LUSAKA (Reuters) - Zambia’s Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) owned by London-listed Vedanta Resources plans to invest $172 million in a new copper treatment project.

The proposed project would produce 50,000 tonnes of finished copper per year, KCM said in a report submitted to the state-run Environmental Council of Zambia seen by Reuters on Friday.

Under Zambian law, mining companies and other investors planning huge infrastructure projects are required to seek the prior approval of the Environmental Council of Zambia.

KCM planned to treat approximately 156 million tonnes of stockpiled ores that were difficult to treat using ordinary copper treatment methods, it said.

“The materials will be treated using a process known as agitated leaching. This process uses acidic solutions to treat the materials into finished copper,” the report said.

The lifespan of the project to be located in the Nchanga mine plant area was estimated at 13 years but could exceed that if more materials were sourced from Nchanga mine, it said.

About 1,700 jobs would be created during the construction phase of the project and 300 permament jobs would be created after its completion, KCM said.

KCM plans to invest $1 billion in the next 3-4 years on expansion and upgrades in a bid to become a major global copper producer, its chief executive said in December last year.

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