KONKOLA Copper Mines (KCM) PLC will invest KR1billion (US$200 million) in the Mimbula Open Pit Mine project, which is expected to generate 600 jobs for the local people.
KCM chief executive officer Jeyakumar Janakaraj said the mining firm will invest the $200 million in the project to increase the mine's production capacity.
Addressing journalists in Lusaka on Tuesday, Mr Janakaraj said the pre feasibility studies have been completed and the firm was awaiting approval from the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA).
Mr Janakaraj said mining at the Mimbula project was likely to commence in April next year, saying the project was expected to generate between 500 and 600 employment opportunities.
"Until now, we have not invested a big deal and the biggest investment decision will happen after the next three months when ZEMA approves this project, the pre feasibility study has been completed and we are in active engagement with ZEMA and once the approval comes, we will start pre-striping. This is a mine that is going to create many jobs when we commence mining next year," he said.
Mr Janakaraj said the actual mining at Mimbula was likely to start in April next year but pre-stripping would start earlier than that.
Commenting on the Konkola Deep Mining Project (KDMP), Mr Janakaraj said the project was almost complete.
"The KDMP is taking a very good shape, we are already hoisting waste from the bottom shaft level and we are hopeful that we will in the next three to four months, be hoisting more ore.
"It has been six years of hard work to put up this project and it gives us great satisfaction because it will give more life to KCM," he said.
KDMP is expected to extend the mine's lifespan to about 35 years and will ensure job security in the area.
Mr Janakaraj said the mine had invested more than US$2.6 billion in the project and remains committed to investing in the projects that would increase the mine life.
He said the mining firm had also set aside US$15million for coal and copper exploration projects in Southern and North-Western provinces.
Mr Janakaraj said the company had been granted an exploration licence by the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development to carry out exploration activities in North-Western Province.