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    Munali Mine opens January
    By Brian Hatyoka

    ALBIDON Zambia Limited, under new management, is expected to start production at Munali Nickel Mine next month while 94 people have already been employed, general manager Xin XiNing has said.
    And Albidon Zambia Limited is planning to start producing about 1. 2 million tonnes of nickel ore annually by the year 2012.
    Chinese group, Jinchuan Group took over Albidon Zambia after the mine was placed under care and maintenance by the previous owners owing to the drastic drop in nickel prices on the international market, as the effects of the global financial crisis hit the metals markets.
    Mr Xin said the development and production of nickel was expected to start in January, as preliminary works in restarting operations were undertaken during the fourth quarter of 2009.
    The works involved sourcing financing for the mine, payments to creditors and suppliers, re-engagement of mining contractors and preliminary underground work to commence mining operations.
    Mr Xin, in response to a Press query in Lusaka, said the mine had so far engaged 67 Zambians and 27 Chinese in various units of the operations, bringing the total number to 94 employees. The employed Zambians represent all the fields of expertise.
    He said Albidon Zambia Limited would continue the land clearing and compensation obligations as well as construction of schools, clinics and bridges. Other plans are on land surveys and title preparation or transfer.
    On the outlook of the mining industry in Zambia, Mr Xin said there was great potential for new mines to develop in the country.
    Albidon Zambia Limited is looking to produce 1, 2 million tonnes of nickel ore annually by the year 2012.
    Next year, the firm intends to produce 750,000 tonnes of nickel ore while the annual production for 2011 is targeted at one million tonnes.
    On a monthly basis, the mine plans to produce between 50,000 and 60,000 tonnes of ore next year, 78,000 to 95,000 tonnes in 2011, while the target for 2012 is between 98,000 and 105, 000 tonnes.
    On nickel concentrates, Albidon Zambia Limited plans to produce annually - 50,000 tonnes next year, 80,000 in 2011 and 100, 000 tonnes in 2012.
    The mine seeks to produce 4,200 tonnes of nickel concentrates next year, 6,600 tonnes in 2011 while the target for 2012 is 8,300 tonnes per month.

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