First Quantum Minerals Limited, owners of Zambia’s key producer of
copper and gold seeks to acquire more than 1,000 hectares of land to
build various infrastructure including houses for sale to its
employees as part of the empowerment policy, a report says.
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report submitted to the
Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), says the copper miner
seeks to put up various facilities at the site, once approved
including a hydro power plant in addition to houses for its workers,
it said in a statement seen by Zambian Mining News in Lusaka.
The company recently announced a US$3 billion programme to construct a
Sentinel mine in Solwezi in north western Zambia of which it plans to
use over US$690 million to construct a smelter to process its copper
concentrates produced at the mine.
The copper smelter, according to an earlier EIA will be located within
the premises of Kansanshi Mine, and will have a lifespan of 20 years,
a project expected to create about 1,500 jobs at construction stage
and an additional 800 employment opportunities during the operational
Both skilled and semi-skilled personnel will be required during
project implementation of all phases. Unskilled labor needed during
project implementation will be drawn from local communities.
The company forecasts to complete the construction of the smelter by
2015 as Kansanshi Mine produces copper cathodes and copper
concentrates that are currently transported by road to smelters on the
Copperbelt for treatment, giving the company logistical,
infrastructural and environmental challenges.
Additionally, with the increased copper production at the mine and
expected to rise further at the peak of production by 2015 the company
will need its own smelter facility to meet the demand.
Additional copper concentrates are expected from the First Quantum
Mine Limited’s Sentinel Mine once it becomes operational in 2014, and
combined Kansanshi and Sentinel mines’ production is expected to be
1,200 tonnes of copper per annum.
Kansanshi Mine plans to construct and operate the Kansanshi Copper
Smelter will assist meet the needs of other mining companies including