Lumwana copper mine’s Super Pit expansion project has been accelerated with first production now scheduled for 2028, the copper mine’s developers, Barrick recently told President Hakainde Hichilema.
Mark Bristow, the President and Chief Executive Officer advised said the project will transform Lumwana into one of the world’s major copper mines, with projected annual production of around 240,000 tonnes per year over a +30-year life.
“It is a key component of the Zambian government’s drive to revive the country’s copper industry over the next 10 years. The estimated cost of the project is almost $2 billion and construction is scheduled to start towards the end of this year,” said Bristow.
Since Barrick refocused its strategy in 2019 Lumwana, the once struggling mine has been restructured and re-engineered into a significant contributor to Barrick’s expanding copper portfolio.
The ramp-up of the reopened Malundwe pit and completion of the transition to owner mining supported the achievement of its production guidance for 2023.
Since 2019, Lumwana has contributed almost $3 billion to the economy in the form of royalties, taxes, salaries and the procurement of goods and services from local businesses. Local procurement of $472m in 2023 made up more than 81 percent of total spend for Lumwana.
Barrick has also launched a Business Accelerator Program designed to build the business capacity of the Zambian contractors in its supply chain, equipping them to grow and diversify their enterprises and remain sustainable beyond Lumwana’s life of mine.
“In line with Barrick’s partnership philosophy, our REDD+ initiative will uplift our host communities through conservation of the natural forest surrounding the mine. Resources have already been allocated and engagement with the communities is underway. We are in discussion with the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment to facilitate the required licensing and our partnership with the local government,” Bristow said.
By; Michael Mondoloka