ZEMA seeks ‘endorsement’ of proposed Kitumba Copper Project

The planned construction of the much awaited three-mega tons per annum, Kitumba Copper mine project in Mumbwa in central Zambia comes under public scrutiny on 11 July this year as owners and Australian listed Blackthorn Resources Limited, await to start developing the project.

According to developers, Blackthorn Resources Limited plans are underway to undertake mining and processing of copper in Mumbwa district at the site, lying approximately 210km north-west of the Lusaka Central Business District (CBD) and about 50km southwest of Mumbwa CBD.

The site is about 5.5km away from Kafue National Park and 5km away from Mushingashi Conservancy. The proposed mining of copper will be by way of underground mining using the sub-level mining method.

It is estimated that the production rate of this mine will be 3 mega tons per annum, Zambia Environmental Management Agency spokeswoman, Irene Lungu said in a statement.

The developers in their environmental impact assessment (EIA) report have in addition to mining at Katumba, indicated that the proposed project will also involve copper processing which will include among others, primary ore crushing; grinding and classification; rougher floatation to produce a bulk concentrate; and acid leaching of bulk rougher concentrate.

The project if approved will further undertake filtration of leached concentrate; Electro-winning; Neutralisation of filtrate residue regrind; two stages of cleaner floatation to produce a copper concentrate; Copper concentrate thickening, filtration and stockpiling; Tailings thickening and Tailings disposal works.

Accordingly, the public hearing of the EIA report will be held at the Big Concession Basic School, within Mumbwa District at 09 hrs, at which among other key stakeholders, His Royal Highness, Chief Kaindu, are expected to attend.

The review of the EIA report for the proposed project is in line with the provisions of the Environmental Management Act (EMA) Number 12 of 2011 as read with the EIA Regulations; SI. No. 28, of 1997 and is available for scrutiny at the following places:

Interested parties seeking to view the report of the proposed project are free to inspect it not later than 25 July, 2014 from 09-16hrs at the Mumbwa civic centre offices and other designated places including the ZEMA offices in Lusaka, opposite Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

Accordingly, compliant Mineral Resource estimate as reported in December 2013, delivered a 25 percent increase in contained copper over previous estimate – 34.7Mt at 2.29 percent copper using a 1 percent cut-off for a total of 795,000 contained copper tonnes.

According to the company data on the website, the update includes material in the measured category at Kitumba for the first time – 10.4Mt at 2.93 percent copper using a 1 percent cut-off. Material in the Measured and Indicated categories that can be economically extracted can be included in Ore Reserves.

A revised Ore Reserve estimate was reported as part of the Kitumba Optimised Prefeasibility Study (OPFS) announcement in April 2014. Kitumba contains Proved and Probable C Mineral Reserves of 31.5Mt at 2.04 percent Copper for a total of 641,000 tons contained copper, the company added on its website.

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