This is the final project work for the Sandvik International Mining and Construction School (SIMACS for short) two-year programme that the author enrolled in in October 2009 at the University of Leoben. The author chose to do a write up about the current mining operations and the production ramp-up project at Zambia’s Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) located in the border town of Chililabombwe. The Konkola Mine, one of the wettest mines in the world, is located on the northern most part of the mines on the copper-rich Zambian Copperbelt Province in Chililabombwe District which lies approximately 475 kilometres north-west of the Zambian Capital City, Lusaka, and 12 kilometres south of the Democratic Republic of Congo border. Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa surrounded by eight neighbours – Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Angola. Zambia has a total land surface area of 752,614km² and a population of just over 12 million people (Central Statistics Office, 2010) and is home to vast mineral resources. Konkola Copper Mine was formerly part of the state owned Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) which owned all the mining companies in Zambia. With the advent of plural politics in 1991 the government undertook to privatise most of the state owned parastatals. Konkola mine was sold to Anglo-American Corporation and started becoming viable once again. In the year 2004 Anglo-American Corporation later sold the mine to London listed and Mumbai based Vedanta Resources plc via the government of the republic of Zambia. This work explains the current scenario at Konkola Mine, and the objectives of a huge project called Konkola Deep Mining Project (KDMP) which offers a life line to the mine which could otherwise have closed. The author extensively consulted the various stake holders in the project and carried out site visits to ascertain the viability of the project. Above all the author attempted to show how Sandvik, the SIMACS sponsor, can benefit from the project. The Konkola mine’s mineral resource was originally designed to be accessed through three separate vertical shafts. Two shafts designated No.1 shaft and No.3 shaft have been in operation since then. Shaft No.2 was not included on Vedanta’s licence when it bought the mine from the government. Shaft No.2 has since been sold to a consortium of companies from Brazil and South Africa and is operating under a new name Konnoco – Konkola North Copper Mine. A new shaft called No.4 shaft which is deeper than the older ones and which is still under construction had its first phase commissioned on 20th April 2010 by the Zambian President. This project is aimed at expanding the production of copper ore at Konkola Mine from about two million tonnes per annum to seven and a half million tonnes per annum by accessing the rich ore body that lies beneath what the current operations have been exploiting. This project will extend the life of Konkola Mine by 23years. The new shaft will be sunk to a depth of 1,490metres. It is designed to handle the planned increase in the mine’s production capacity from the current annual production of two million tonnes to seven and half million tonnes per year in a project called the Konkola Deep Mining Project. (KDMP) In addition, the project involves the deepening of existing shafts, sinking of three new ventilation shafts, one dewatering shaft and the construction of a new pump chamber.
|Translated title of the contribution||Production Ramp Up at Konkola Copper Mine, Zambia|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|