KONKOLA Copper Mines (KCM) says it will develop two large declines (tunnels) to access new ore bodies at Nchanga underground mine, to produce between 6,000 and 7,000 tonnes of copper in the initial stage.
KCM chief executive officer Jeyakumar Janakaraj said development of tunnels will start next month with trail mining expected to commence next year.
“We have decided to do two large declines to access new ore bodies. The project is currently at development stage and will start the development next month while trail mining will start in the next one year.
We expect to get between 6,000 and 7,000 tonnes of copper in the 2013-2014 financial year,” he said.
Mr Janakaraj said at a press briefing in Lusaka recently that about 500 jobs are expected to be created during the initial stage.
He said the project will significantly enhance copper production as part of KCM’s strategy of extending mining lifespan.
Mr Janakaraj said increased copper production remains critical for the mine, which produced about 123,000 tonnes in the last nine months of KCM’s financial year.
“We remain focused on increasing volumes and growing the mine and ensuring that every US dollar comes back in the country for re-investment,” he said.
He also said KCM has in the last five years paid more than US$500 million in taxes to Government.
Mr Janakaraj said its taxes and other royalties are expected to increase further as copper output increases.
Meanwhile, Mr Janakaraj has reiterated the mining firm’s commitment to uphold good governance practices in its quest to contribute to the economic development of the country.
“Our focus is extremely governed by good practices. We have informed Government of all our transactions and have never hidden our revenues because it is not our cup of tea,” he said.
Sourced from daily-mail.co.zm