MOPANI Copper Mine (MCM) plans to develop the synclinorium shaft at a cost of about US$300 million to extend the life span of the mine to almost 38 years during the next three years.
The company has embarked on an expansion strategy, through the development of the synclinorium shaft, as a result of a very limited life of mine estimated at not more than four years and low ore grade reserves.
According to the ZCCM-Investment Holding Strategic Plan for 2012 to 2016, to ensure long term mine production at Nkana, MCM plans to undertake the development of the synclinorium shaft project.
“To ensure long term mine production at Nkana, MCM plans to undertake the development of the synclinorium shaft project at a cost estimated to exceed US$300 million. Further, MCM have advised of the intention to develop the deeps section to ensure sustainability of mining at Mufulira mine, as well as the on going development of the Luansobe ore body and the Mufulira East ore body.
“The current mineral reserves from the Mufulira Deep have a mine life of 10 years and the opportunity to extend the life of Mufulira mine up to 1,540 metres level with mineral resources of the mine life by a further 38 years when the resources are translated in to reserves using available infrastructure and resources,” reads the statement.
It says the projections of the project undertakings are yet to be availed to enable assessment of dividend payment and capital gains.
“MCM has embarked upon an expansion strategy, through the development of the synclinorium shaft, as a result of a very limited life of mine estimate of more than four years and low ore grade reserves.
Implementation of the synclinorium shaft is the future of the company.
“Original budget for the project which was at US$206 million has since been revised to US$240 million and other major funding requirements including the smelter phase III first converter project, purchase of a new converter and refurbishment of another are to cost US$68 million bringing capital expenditure to a certain minimum of US$308 million during the next three years,” says the report.
ZCCM-IH strategic planning period will be to maintain the 10 percent shareholding, while seeking a better dividend declaration approach.