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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Copper: Latest News: March 17th 2008


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:: Bateman JV Passes Critical Mark in Lumwana Copper Project

The 20 million t/yr Lumwana copper concentrator being constructed by Bateman Engineering in a joint venture with Ausenco International of Australia for Equinox Minerals in Northwest Zambia is nearing completion.

At the end of December 2007, progress stood at 83 % complete with progress on track to achieve the contractual completion date of 28 June 2008. Hot commissioning of the plant is to be undertaken by the client, assisted by the Joint Venture (JV), and is expected to commence during the second half of June 2008.

All of the construction contracts have been awarded to Zambian contractors, with Group Five Civil Engineering in a joint venture with WBHO and Tubular Technical Construction being the two main contractors on site.

The US$762 million Lumwana copper project is one of the largest copper developments currently underway. The engineering, construction and procurement (EPC) contract was awarded to the JV in 2006 and is worth in excess of US$407.6 million. The plant is being designed around conventional flotation processing as metallurgical test work had indicated a greater than 95 % recovery of copper using these methods. Equinox will mine an average of 20 million t/yr of ore with the processing plant producing copper concentrate equivalent to an average of 169,000 t/yr of copper metal contained in concentrates for the first six years of its expected 37 year mine life.

Equinox is an international mineral-exploration and development company with a focus on base and precious metals. Its Lumwana copper project includes two major copper deposits, Malundwe and Chimiwungo.




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