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    Zambia team to study copper mine infrastructure
    Wednesday March 19, 9:36 am ET

    LUSAKA, March 19 (Reuters) - Zambia has appointed a team of technocrats to review the cost of a proposed new railway line and other infrastructure in new mining areas, Finance Minister Emmanuel Kasonde said on Wednesday.

    Canada's First Quantum Minerals (Toronto:FM.TO - News) will start operating the Kansanshi mine in northwestern Zambia next year, while Australia's Equinox Resources (Australia:EQR.AX - News) is expected to start operating the Lumwana mine in the same area in 2006.

    "Our goal is to put up infrastructure such as railway line, roads, schools, hospitals and electricity in the northwestern province where Kansanshi and Lumwana mines will soon start operating," Kasonde told reporters.

    The two open pit mines have been dubbed the future of copper mining in Zambia. Analysts say the two mines would together produce more than 200,000 tonnes of finished copper per year, within the first 10 years.

    "Experts are already on the ground to conduct a study on what is required before we can start to build infrastructure. These mines give a bright future of copper mining in Zambia," Kasonde said.

    Finance Ministry officials said last month the government had set aside more than US$400,000 for the power-related infrastructure. Other costs have not been revealed.

    Zambia earned US$508 million from copper exports in 2002 when it produced 338,000 tonnes of copper, up from 296,446 tonnes in the previous year.

    The Zambian Treasury estimates that total copper output could rise to between 400,000 tonnes and 500,000 tonnes from 2006.


    Zambia's Mopani mine to boost 2003 copper output
    Monday March 24, 6:20 am ET

    LUSAKA, March 24 (Reuters) - Zambia's Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) will
    increase its output of finished copper to 140,000 tonnes in 2003 from 110,000
    tonnes last year, Mines Minister Kaunda Lembalemba said on Monday.


    "Mopani is targeting production of 140,000 tonnes," he said in a statement.

    He said figures for the combined output of Mopani and Konkola Copper
    Mines (KCM) were encouraging for Zambia's mining sector, the lifeblood of
    the southern African country's economy.

    Output from Zambia's two major copper miners could reach 390,000 tonnes in
    2003, up from their combined output of 300,000 tonnes last year.

    Under Konkola's "Buyantanshi II" programme launched last week, KCM is
    targeting annual production of 250,000 tonnes of finished copper in 2003.

    "The Zambia mining industry is showing signs of recovery. The mining sector
    will restate its role as the main driving force in Zambia's economic
    development," Lembalemba said.

    Mopani is a joint venture between Swiss trader Glencore International AG and
    Canada's First Quantum Minerals (Toronto:FM.TO - News). It operates the
    Mufulira and Nkana copper mines - which together produced 110,000 tonnes
    of copper in 2002.

    Konkola Copper Mines comprises the Nchanga Open pit and Konkola copper
    mines and the Nampundwe pyrite mine. Together they account for some 67
    percent of Zambia's total metals output.

    Zambia earns the bulk of its foreign exchange from copper exports and the
    mines are a major employer.

    In a separate statement, KCM chief executive officer Russell Alley said
    "Buyantanshi II" would aim to reduce production costs and the rate of mine
    accidents.

    "This year we have launched a new initiative code-named 'Buyantanshi II' in
    which our main goal is to achieve copper production rate of 250,000 tonnes
    per year and reduce our costs," Alley said, who took over at KCM in February.



 
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