KCM turns to ‘waste’
Konkola Copper Mines -KCM- plans to process 90 million tonnes of copper from Nchanga mine’s ore waste, extending the mines life from 4 to 40 years.
KCM Vice President for Local Economic Development, David Paterson says firm has turned to material that was once considered waste because of its low grade copper as an option to extend the lifespan of its Nchanga Underground Copper Mine.
Nchanga Underground Copper Mine Manager Bwalya Chafilwa says advancement in technology now allows the mine to process the low grade copper ore that was previously considered waste.
He says Nchanga has probable reserves of 90milion tonnes of copper from the waste which could increase its lifespan from the current 4 years to 40 years at the current annual production rate of 2 million tones.
Mr. Chafilwa reveals that the 90million tones includes the 40million tones waste under the BSS-TFQ Project and 50-million tonnes under the Upper Ore Body which is still under evaluation.
The mine also plans to cut production costs and improve efficiency in a bid to remain competitive in view of low copper prices.