The Mwekera Copper project in Ndola is on track to begin construction next year, with initial investment of US$5 million already made on the mine’s groundwork. The Chinese led firm, Macrolink, had earlier this year been served a "default notice" by Government for being slow in taking forward the project. It appears momentum has now resumed. This is a vital project for Ndola.
The proposal by Australia’s Zambezi Resources Ltd to develop a $494 million open cast copper mine in a game reserve has been rejected on environmental concerns. Zambezi Resources’ Zambian subsidiary Mwembeshi Resources said in March it planned to start copper production at the Kangaluwe project in the Lower Zambezi National Park by 2015. But a spokeswoman for Zambia’s environmental management agency, which has to approve all huge infrastructure projects, told Reuters the project had been rejected.
Mines Minister Yamfwa Mukanga on the next phase of mineral development in Zambia :
We have 16 producing copper mines, three new ones coming on stream in two years, backed up by existing and new smelting and refinery capacity..and known reserves for at least 50 years of future production. However, we have reshaped our mining investment strategy as we need to intensify exploration for the development of new mines and mineral based exports to deliver a new level of long term benefits from our resources...This more intense focus includes required new investment in our oil and gas potential, boosting manufacturing capacity to process a wider spectrum of minerals, and to parallel that growth with new manufacturing capacity for mining industry consumables....There is a major gap in Zambia’s economy in downstream processing our gemstones industrial minerals and dimensional stone and there are few if any local manufacturers of mining equipment such as drill rods, bits, jack hammers and piping....On that basis, we need both junior and large mining companies and resources investment houses, to install Zambia on their high priority investment agendas.
Construction of the K250 billion Universal Mining and Chemical Industries Limited (UMCIL) Iron ore processing plant in Kafue, has reached an advanced stage and is scheduled to be completed in February next year. This is Phase 2 of the Kafue integrated Iron and Steel project, called the Direct Reduced Iron (DRI). It is expected to create 1,000 jobs. Phase 1 of the project (costing $120m) is already fully operational, producing 7,000 tonnes of finished rolled iron and steel products per month for the local and regional markets. It has been targeting the local market and has exported to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the Great Lakes Region. It employs 700 jobs.