KANSANSHI Mining in Solwezi has stockpiled US$300-million worth of copper concentrates due to lack of in-country smelting capacity.
First Quantum Minerals (FQM), the owner of Kansanshi said the amount of stockpiled copper concentrate was rising.
FQM Zambia public relations manager Godfrey Msiska said in response to a Press query that because of the continued lack of in-country smelting capacity, the firm had, in stockpiled concentrates, about $300 million worth of copper at present.
“The opportunity cost of sitting on such a huge stockpile is obviously very high and so the idea is for us to start processing these concentrates through our own smelter at Kansanshi as soon as this starts operating in early 2015,” Mr Msiska said.
He said phase one of construction on the Kansanshi copper smelter had advanced to 78 per cent-overall completion as at the end of the second quarter of 2014.
Mr Msiska said the second half of 2014 was important for FQM as both phase one of the Kansanshi copper smelter and Trident project were tracking well for staged commissioning in 2015.
“Early commissioning works at Sentinel commenced in June 2014 and first concentrate production is slated for year-end 2014,” Mr Msiska said.
He said following two years of design and the April 2012 agreement with Zesco on power supply to the project, the Sentinel copper mine at the Trident secured approval for construction from the FQM board in June 2012.
Mr Msiska said power transmission line works to upgrade the electricity network into North Western Province would continue in partnership with Zesco.
“Stringing of the 68 kilometre, 330 kilovolt transmission line from the Zesco Lumwana substation has been completed and the Zesco Kalumbila substation was formally energised on August 14, 2014.
“This line will provide adequate power to the Sentinel mine to support commissioning and early ramp-up activities,” Mr Msiska said.
He said construction works are in progress on the 400 kilometre, 330 kilovolts power line into Mumbwa and this portion was required, alongside the 140 kilometre, 330 kilovolts transmission line from Mumbwa to Lusaka West.
“The contracted completion date with Zesco for these works is December 2014,” Mr Msiska said.
Times of Zambia