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Lumwana Super Pit Project Gears Up for 2028 Production 

Barrick President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow has announced that the Lumwana copper mine’s Super Pit expansion project is on an accelerated track, with first production now slated for 2028. This update was shared during a meeting with Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema. 

The Lumwana Super Pit project aims to elevate the mine to one of the world’s major copper producers, projecting an annual output of approximately 240,000 tonnes over a lifespan exceeding 30 years.

The project, a cornerstone of the Zambian government’s ambitious plan to revitalize the country’s copper industry over the next decade, comes with an estimated cost of almost $2 billion. Construction is set to commence later this year.

Barrick’s strategic realignment in 2019 has transformed Lumwana from a struggling mine into a significant contributor to Barrick’s expanding copper portfolio. The successful reopening of the Malundwe pit and the completion of the transition to owner mining played crucial roles in achieving the production targets for 2023.

Since 2019, Lumwana has injected nearly $3 billion into the Zambian economy, comprising royalties, taxes, salaries, and local business engagement. In 2023 alone, local procurement amounted to $472 million, representing more than 81% of the total spend for Lumwana.

As part of its commitment to local development, Barrick has initiated a Business Accelerator Program, designed to enhance the business capacity of Zambian contractors in its supply chain.

The program aims to empower these contractors to expand, diversify, and remain sustainable beyond the anticipated life of the Lumwana mine.

Highlighting the company’s commitment to responsible mining practices and community well-being, Bristow emphasized the REDD+ initiative. This initiative is geared towards the conservation of the natural forest surrounding the Lumwana mine. 

Barrick has allocated resources for the initiative, and ongoing discussions with the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment aim to facilitate the necessary licensing. The collaboration with local government further underscores Barrick’s dedication to sustainable mining practices.

The Lumwana Super Pit project not only signifies a major milestone for Barrick but also aligns with broader economic goals.

The project is a key component of the Zambian government’s strategy to reinvigorate the copper industry, contributing to economic growth and job creation over the next decade.

With construction slated to commence later this year, the Lumwana Super Pit project is set to play a pivotal role in transforming Lumwana into a global copper mining powerhouse by 2028. 

The projected annual output of 240,000 tonnes underscores the project’s potential impact on both regional and global copper markets. As the project gains momentum, it is expected to further solidify Lumwana’s position as a major player in the international copper mining landscape.

Source: Copperbelt Katanga Mining

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