Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Zambia: Update on Mining Operations – Part II


Zambia: Update on Mining Operations – Part II

In continuation of our previous post we are looking at major mining companies in Zambia. Equinox Minerals Limited is an international mining company that is dual listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Australian Securities Exchange (Symbol: 'EQN'). Since 1999 it is operating a 100% owned large scale Lumwana copper mine. Situated 220 km west of the Zambian Copperbelt, Lumwana is now a major open-cut copper mine -- at initial design capacity, Lumwana will process in excess of 20 million tons of ore per year, mined at an average life of mine strip ratio of 4.2:1.  Lumwana ore, which is predominantly sulphide, is treated through a large conventional plant, producing a copper concentrate for sale to local and international offtakers. In 2008, Equinox completed a uranium feasibility study (UFS) investigating the onsite treatment of discrete, high grade uranium mineralization contained within the Lumwana mine copper pitshells. The UFS confirmed the potential viability of onsite uranium treatment, producing about 2 million pounds of uranium per year over a six to seven year period.
The Latest corporate presentation (of June 21, 2010 can be downloaded  at this link ) describes all corporate activities in the country, and has this brief overview:

The Company is reporting that Lumwana production for the first two months of Q2-2010 totaled 29,733 tons (66 M lbs) of copper in concentrate - a 46% increase on the average monthly production results of Q1-2010 and a 83% increase on the average monthly production results for the corresponding period Q2-2009. Equinox has maintained its full-year production guidance of 135,000 tons of copper in concentrate for this year, at a cash cost of $1,35/lb.
The Company has begun studies into a phased capacity expansion at Lumwana mine. This will examine an initial expansion to 24-million tons, which Equinox believes could be achieved with limited additional spending and within an 18-month timeframe, followed by a further increase to an eventual 35-million tons a year.
 First Quantum Minerals Ltd., a growing mining and metals company, is engaged in mineral exploration, development, mining and refining. The Company produces LME grade "A" copper cathode, copper in concentrate, gold and sulphuric acid. First Quantum's common shares are listed for trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada (symbol "FM"), the London Stock Exchange (symbol "FQM") in the United Kingdom. First Quantum is a member of the S&P/TSX 60 index.
Investor presentation contains major data on all projects, including the following:

 Kalumbila Exploration Projects (100%), Zambia

  • Acquired for cash and shares valued at approx. US$260M in January 2010
  • Main asset is a controlling interest in mineral prospecting licenses covering 2,850 km2on the periphery of the Kabombo Dome
  • Includes the Kalumbila copper deposit —undergoing infill drill program to establish indicated resource on the open-pittable mineralization identified by drill results to date
  • Also includes the Kawako nickel and the Kawanga uranium prospects
 Kansanshi Copper-Gold Mine, Zambia
  • 80% owned, in Zambia
  • Located in the North Western Province
  • Achieved commercial production in 2005
  • 13-year estimated mine life; 20-year including inferred resources
  • Extensive drill program to update reserves and resources estimate completed

   Bwana Mkubwa Copper SX\EW Plant, Zambia

  • 100% owned, in Zambia
  • Produces copper cathode and sulphuric acid
  • Currently processing the Lonshi oxide ore at an output level of approximately 800 tons per month
 The company is fast-tracking development of the Kalumbila copper project, which it acquired last year through the takeover of Kiwara Plc. The project could be producing as early as 2013 and could churn out as much as 150,000 tons of copper a year. A very cognitive story on Kansnashi mine was recently produced by the Vancouver Sun (A bittersweet story in Zambia).

More to follow…..

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