New investments on the scale such as the Lumwana copper mines would not have been viable without the rising copper prices.
Equinox Mineral limited was a holding company for Lumwana Mines. As at 25th April 2011, the holding company was taken over by a new holding company, the worlds largest gold miner Barrick Gold at US$ 7.68 billion. Where this transaction leads us It remains to be seen.
Located some 300 kilometers to the west of the Zambian copper belt and 95 kilometers south west of Solwezi, the provincial capital of the north western province, Lumwana Mines is the largest single copper mine in Africa.
The mine is a multi-pit, multi staged operation, mining approximately 130Mt of ore and waste per annum and producing copper concentrates containing an average of 140,000 tonnes of copper metal per year over a thirty-seven (37) year mine life.
A lot of developments are underway and the construction of a new fully self contained town, home to approximately 5,000 people, is among the developments. Lumwana is making a positive contribution to the Zambian economy, being the biggest single capital investment in the country's history. It is expected to produce about 20 percent of Zambias total copper output once operational at full capacity.
The company is set to meet its production target for 2011 of 145,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate per annum. So far, for the year ended 2010, copper production increased by 34 percent reaching 146,690 tonnes, from 109,413 tonnes in 2009.
The new mine has acquired five new Hitachi EH 4500 trucks which are in operation. Lumwana mine is now operating at design capacity. The mine continues delivering concentrate to Chambishi copper smelter and the Konkola copper mines smelter at Nchanga on the copper belt.
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