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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: September 29th 2006


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:: Africa's Biggest Smelter Project Launched in Zambia

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa Monday officially commissioned and opened the Mufulira Copper Mines (MCM) smelter upgrade project, the largest in Africa and one of the biggest smelters in the World.

The copper smelter project in Copperbelt province has been built at a tune of over 190 million U.S.dollars and will process over 1 million tons of copper ore per year.

The smelter upgrade project will cost over 290 million U.S. dollars when fully completed.

It will also process copper ore from the already existing and established mines such as Lumwana, First Quantum Minerals and Konkola Copper Mines KCM.

He said the project was adding value to the buoyant mining industry and contributing favorably to the country's balance of Payment Support (BOP).

He noted that the smelter project will not only create employment opportunities for the locals but will also make it cheaper and easier for mining firms to locally process their copper concentrates.

This is opposed to the previous experience where the country's copper was processed from outside the country at great transport costs.




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