|Location||11 Km North from CHILILABOMBWE in Zambia|
Latitude: 12Â° 18' (North)
Longitude: 27Â° 46' (West)
African Rainbow Minerals 50%
|Production||45,000 tpa capacity|
|Reserves & Resources||Copper - 300mt @2.57% proven|
|Mining Method||sub-level open stoping & room-and-pillar|
|Processing Method||Curshing, flotation|
|Mine Life||beyond 2040|
Last updated: September 8, 2010
The 44 sq km Konkola copper project is located in northern Zambia adjacent to the border with Democratic Republic of Congo.
Prospector James Williams was the first to discover copper mineralization in the Konkola North region back in 1924. Four years later Dr J. Austen Bancroft correlated it with the copper-bearing formations of the Copperbelt, but results seemed disappointing and work was abandoned during the Depression period. Meanwhile, a few kilometers away across the border in Congo (DRC) Belgian prospectors delineated a major copper deposit at Musoshi. Drilling at Konkola began in 1936, the first shaft was sunk in 1954, and the first copper was produced in 1957. Because of depressed copper prices the mine was put on care and maintenance the next year. A total of 749,000 t ore at 2.29% copper were produced during this short period of time.
Konkola is equally owned by Vale and African Rainbow Minerals. The JV has completed 86 000 metres of exploration drilling and defined a resource of 300 million tonnes at an average grade of 2.57% total copper.
A final Bankable Feasibility Study was completed and submitted to the government in June 2010.
Total project cost is about $400 million with the plant envisioned to be commissioned in December 2012. Full production (45,000 t copper per year) is expected to be reached in the financial 2015. There is potential to increase output to 100,000 t copper per year by including the Area A expansion.
Zambia - "One Zambia, One Nation" - is a landlocked country located in south-central Africa. It has been inhabited for thousands of years by old populations of Khoisan hunter-gatherers which were subsequently replaced by migratory Bantu speaking tribes.
The first Europeans to reach that far inland were 1798 Portuguese explorers led by Dr. Francesco Jose Maria de Larceda. The most notable explorer is Dr. David Livingstone, the 1850s discoverer of the world famous Mosi-oa-Tunya, "the smoke that thunders" waterfall, which he renamed Victoria Falls after his monarch, the Queen Victoria.
At the end of the 19th the country was annexed by British colonial forces led by Cecil Rhodes and named Northern Rhodesia. Zambia gained independence from U.K. in 1964, but still remains an English speaking country.
Copper was mined in Zambia by indigenous people and circulated in central Africa as ingots and crosses long before the European colonization.
In the first part of the 19 century about 40% of the world's copper supply came from theBritish Empire, but that had declined to a negligible amount in the second part of the same century.
The Konkola property lies 300 km north ofLusaka, and immediately north of the town ofChililabombwe. A paved road links Chililabombwe to other towns in the Zambian Copperbelt and withLusaka, the countryâ€™s capital. Railroads connect it with ports inSouth AfricaandDar es Salaam in Tanzania.
The project area experiences two seasons a wet season from November to March and a dry season from April to October. The project area is situated at 1,350 m asl elevation.
The Lufilian Arc, which hosts the Zambian Copperbelt, is a major geological structure stretching for more than 500 km from Kolweziin southern DRC to Luanshya inZambia. This arcuate structure hosts well-developed high-grade copper-cobalt mineralization in very large stratiform deposits that are being exploited by numerous mines.
Konkola North is located on a NW-SE trending line of copper deposits which extend from Bwana Mkubwa, southeast ofNdolato Musoshi in the DRC. Mineralization is continuous from the town of Chililabombwe to Musoshi.
Copper mineralization hosted in the OS 1 Member occurs at the Konkola North copper project. The mineralized portion of the OS 1 Member (Ore Shale) is usually between 15 and 20 metres thick and, at individual mines, may have a strike length of over 10 kilometres. A complex paragenesis of copper oxides and sulphides is present. Copper also occasionally occurs in its native form. The OS 1 Member is the lowest well-defined and continuous shale/siltstone/schist unit of the Katanga Sequence.
Chalcocite is the dominant copper-bearing mineral in the East Limb deposit. Chalcopyrite is the dominant copper-bearing mineral in the South Limb deposit.
The JV has completed 86 000 metres of exploration drilling and defined a resource of 300 million tonnes at an average grade of 2.57% total copper.
Konkola North would be developed as an underground mining operation. The JV will adopt a staged development of the resources of the Konkola North license area, focusing initially on the northern portion known as the South and East Limb copper ore bodies.
The existing 423 meter deep vertical No. 2 shaft and related shaft infrastructure would be re-equiped to develop and mine the South Limb ore body. Other already existing mining infrastructure includes two vertical ventilation shafts and three ore haulage levels. A new twin decline is planned for the development and mining of the East Limb ore body.
The Konkola North mine is forecast to produce 1,250,000 tonnes per year of run-of-mine ore, predominantly using the sub-level open stoping as well as room-and-pillar mining methods.
Processing will be done through the time tested method of flotation and would result in the production of a copper concentrate that would be shipped to a Zambian smelter.
The plant envisioned to be commissioned in December 2012. Full production (45,000 t copper per year) is expected to be reached in the financial 2015.
There is potential to increase output to 100,000 t copper per year by including the Area A expansion.
There are no environmental liabilities associated with the development of the project as it is re-developing a past producer in a region dominated by mining activities.