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:: New Smelter for Openpit Mine
Konkola Copper Mines is to construct a new smelter to produce 250 000 t of copper at its Nchanga openpit mine, GM Maxwell Mutale has disclosed.
He told Mining Weekly in a recent interview that the smelter is being built in order to do away with the need to transport concentrates to the company's only smelter at Nkana, which is the largest in Africa - it produces about 150 000 t of copper a year.
The environmental-impact assessment for the smelter is currently under way and construction will start as soon as the Environmental Council of Zambia has approved the project.
Mutale said the smelter would treat concentrates from Konkola mine, which produces about 2.4-million tons of ore.
The Nchanga openpit mine is among the world's largest openpit mines and has an ore-mining capacity of 20 000 t/d.
In a media statement, KCM's vice-president for corporate relations, Augustine Seyuba, said that, on completion of the smelter, the company will have the capability within Zambia to treat all the copper concentrate that will be produced by other sandstone copper mines.
He said this would enable Zambia to export value-added finished copper rather than exporting concentrate.
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