By JAMES KUNDA –
LUBAMBE Copper Mines (LCM) in Chingola increased its annual production by more than 7,000 tonnes in 2013 to reach a total capacity of 10,567 tonnes.
The African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) of South Africa, which owns Lubambe, said the 2013 production figures represents a owth rate of 200 per cent.
ARM executive chairperson Patrice Motsepe said that in 2013, Lubambe Mine produced 10,567 tonnes of copper compared to 3,230 tonnes of the metal it produced in 2012.
Mr Motsepe said the difference of 7,337 in production figures over the two years under review highlights a growth rate of more than 200 per cent.
“The mine is well-advanced in its ramp-up to full production which is expected to be achieved in the 2016 financial year.
The full commissioning of the mine and the achievement of the ramp up remained the main focus for this period,” he said.
Mr Motsepe said capital expenditure to December 31, 2013 for development of the mine amounted to US$463 million, comprising project capital costs amounting to $442 million.
LCM invested $450million into an expansion project that will enable the mine produce 2.5million tonnes of ore per annum, with an initial production of 45,000 tonnes of copper per annum.
The mine which started its operations in 2010 is expected to attain full production capacity in 2016, while the mines’ life span is 28 years.
Mr Motsepe said the mine has also delivered a good safety performance and has been fatality free since exploration commenced in 2007.
LCM is jointly owned by ARM, Brazilian and New York Stock Exchange Listed,Vale Limited and the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH).
Vale and ARM each hold a 40 per cent stake in the mine, while ZCCM-IH owns 20 per cent shares.