By ZamChro Correspondent
This weekend, President Rupiah Banda is expected to commission the largest open pit copper mine in Africa owned by Australia’s Equinox Minerals Limited, according to a media statement Tuesday from state house press aide Dickson Jere.
The Lumwana Mine in Northwestern Province of Zambia, bordering Angola, has a total capital investment of 910 million dollars, which Equinox says is the largest single copper mine investment in Africa.
Officials say Lumwana is expected to produce an average of 172,000 tons of copper per year for the first six years of its 37-year mine life.
This is a boost to Zambia, Africa’s largest copper producer. It has seen job losses in the mining sector because of the economic slowdown which has resulted in sharp fall in copper prices on the international market.
The situation has caused instability in the southern African country’s economy, which gets about 80 per cent of export earnings from copper.
Lumwana has started preliminary copper concentrate production and plans to reach full output in the second half of 2009.
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