Home » Barrick Plans $2 Billion Expansion of Zambia Copper Mine

Barrick Plans $2 Billion Expansion of Zambia Copper Mine

by Adenike Adeodun

Barrick Gold plans to invest nearly $2 billion in expanding its Lumwana copper mine in Zambia to increase production levels.

Mining.com reported on Wednesday that the company’s new investment aims to raise Lumwana’s annual copper output to about 240,000 tonnes, using a processing plant with a capacity of 50 million tonnes annually over 36 years.

Mark Bristow, Barrick’s CEO, said the expansion supports the company’s goal to extend the mine’s operational life until 2060, rejuvenating Zambia’s copper sector in the process. “We prioritize our host countries as key stakeholders. Creating sustainable value with them is essential,” Bristow emphasized.

Zambia, already ranked as Africa’s second top copper producer after the Democratic Republic of Congo, anticipates more growth in this sector. Barrick plans to complete a detailed feasibility study by the end of 2024 and expand production by 2028.

In the past year, the Canadian mining giant showed increased interest in adding more copper assets to its African portfolio, reinforcing its presence in the continent’s copper belt. This regional growth is evident in KoBold Metals’ recent investment in the Mingomba project and Midnight Sun Mining’s search for partners for its Solwezi project.

Given the projected copper shortage and rising metal prices, mainly due to its role in electric vehicle manufacturing and the renewable energy sector, Barrick is on the hunt for new copper deposits. The firm sets an ambitious goal to double its copper production, aiming for 1 billion pounds by 2031.

Since starting operations at Lumwana in 2019, Barrick has contributed nearly $3 billion to Zambia’s economy through taxes, royalties, salaries, and procurement of goods and services. The company highlighted its dedication to local involvement and shared that Zambian nationals make up 99.3% of Lumwana’s workforce.

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