Kalumbila Minerals Ltd in Zambia has explained that its rebranding process is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2023.
Kalumbila has changed its trading name to ‘FQM Trident Limited’ – a name that incorporates the mining firm’s identity as a 100% First Quantum Minerals-owned company and is inclusive of all the Trident Project operations. Since its inception, the company’s mining operations and the project has incorporated three mining licences, namely Sentinel, Enterprise, and Intrepid which collectively make up ‘The Trident Project.’ It does not include the large Kansanshi operation which is operated by Kansanshi Mining PLC, which is 80% owned by First Quantum.
Constructed over four years from 2012, the mine represents US$2.1 billion of investment – Zambia’s largest infrastructure investment since the Kariba Dam was constructed in 1959. The operation is based on sophisticated technology – as an example, at Sentinel, there are three 57 m3 bucket capacity electric rope shovels while one of the world’s largest trolley assist systems is used for waste haulage utilising Liebherr T 284, Komatsu 860E and Komatsu 960E trucks. In its recent Climate Change Report published in January 2022, FQM states: “GHG emissions are reduced at our Kansanshi and Sentinel mines through the use of trolley assist technology. The technology lowers overall diesel consumption and operating costs, saves on maintenance and increases productivity with a reduced GHG emissions profile…looking to the future, we see several ways that trolley assist technology can be used to further improve First Quantum’s energy efficiency. Our long-term life-of-mine plans include trolley assist technology, taking dedicated permanent trolley ramps as deep as possible to make the most of the electrical power assist. Our trolley assist technology offers the potential for future integration with battery technology that will be key to the further abatement of GHG emissions.”
Sentinel ore is crushed in-pit, in three semi-mobile gyratory crushers. Overland conveyors feed two secondary crushers, and two mill trains each consisting of a 40 ft diameter 28 MW SAG mill twinned with a 44 ft length 22 MW ball mill. The grinding mills are amongst the largest of their type currently operating in the world. The process plant is designed to treat 55 Mt per annum of copper ore from Sentinel mine, with a separate 4 Mt per annum circuit designed to process nickel ore feed from the Enterprise project or additional copper ore feed from Sentinel. At Sentinel, copper production in 2022 is expected to be between 260,000 to 280,000 tonnes. The grade is expected to improve from 2021 levels throughout 2022 as higher-grade ore is exposed in both the Stage 1 and Stage 2 pits. Construction of the fourth in-pit crusher was completed in December 2021 and commissioning was completed in January 2022, which will enable the plant to achieve a throughput of 62 Mt/y in 2022.
Enterprise is a stand-alone nickel orebody in the northwest of the Trident licence area to the west of Sentinel mine. Given the operational and infrastructure synergies with the Sentinel copper mine, just 12 km away, Enterprise is expected to be a low-cost nickel mine. Enterprise ore will be delivered to a dedicated system of dual primary crushers, crushed ore stockpile and conveying. Up to 4 Mt per year of nickel ore will be treated in a SAG-ball milling circuit with pebble crushing, flash flotation and nickel flotation. Final concentrate, at a grade of between 24% and 30%, will be thickened and filtered in a dedicated concentrate handling facility. The Enterprise processing plant will share the Sentinel infrastructure and tailings will be discharged to the Sentinel tailings thickeners and tailings storage facility. Environmental approval has been granted for Enterprise and preparatory works around the project have been undertaken to allow pre-stripping to commence when required. Intrepid is a copper target to the north of Sentinel.
“From our original trading name, Kalumbila Minerals Limited, our mining site was commonly referred to simply as ‘Kalumbila,’” explained FQM Trident Ltd’s General Manager, Sean Egner. “This has been a source of confusion and misunderstanding with the names of the town and district being the same. Additionally, in all our communications and letterheads we have made use of either ‘The Trident Project,’ ‘Sentinel Mine’ or ‘Kalumbila Minerals Limited’ and sometimes both. The name change will reduce the ambiguity and confusion that the old name caused.”
The rebranding process is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2022. Thereafter, all communications and correspondence will be transitioned to reflect FQM Trident Limited. “FQM Trident Limited will remain a fully owned subsidiary of First Quantum Minerals Limited as there is no ownership or control structure change. There will be no changes to conditions of employment or any effect to the day-to-day operations at Sentinel and Enterprise Mines,” Egner noted.
FQM Trident Ltd employs over 6,000 people – predominantly Zambian nationals. The mine’s presence in Kalumbila District, and North-Western Province as a whole, has had a positive impact on the area’s economy with several off-shoot businesses in transportation, agriculture, hospitality, and other services emerging to cater to the needs of the mine, its employees, and subcontractors.