By JAMES KUNDA -
THE China Non-ferrous Metal Mining Company (CNMC) owned by Luanshya Copper Mine, has this year doubled its annual copper production capacity from 20,000 tonnes to 40,000 tonnes.
CNMC group chief executive officer Luo Xingeng attributed the increase in production to the company’s investment of US$432 million in reviving operations at Baluba and Muliashi open pit quarries.
“At the time CNMC took over operations at the mine, copper production was at between 20,000 and 22,000 tonnes per annum,” he said.
Mr Luo told Journalists in Luanshya that this year, the company had encountered many operational challenges at its Baluba mine following fluctuating prices of copper on the global market.
He, however, explained that major investments by CNMC in infrastructure upgrade had propelled production to 40,000 tonnes per annum and this would develop steadily as operations progressed.
Mr Luo said Baluba was unable to record concerted profits more-so that the fluctuating copper prices were compounded by a rise in the cost of raw materials as well as, fuel after removal of the subsidy.
Mr Luo said from the comparison of the cost of production and the selling price, the company had to strengthen cost control measures in order to sustain operations at the over 100 year old Baluba mine.
He said from August 2013, the cost of production has slightly reduced and production at Baluba has returned to normal.
CNMC took over operations at Baluba mine from the defunct Roan Antelope Mining Corporation of Zambia (RAMCOZ) in 2009 and has invested $70million in operations to date.
The company has also developed the Muliashi open pit mine with a capital investment of $362million.