Barrick Gold said that it has expedited the super pit expansion project at the Lumwana copper mine in Zambia to achieve the first production in 2028.

Located approximately 100km west of Solwezi, the Lumwana copper mine, following its expansion, is projected to have an annual production of around 240,000 tonnes per year. The conventional open pit truck and shovel operation is expected to have a mine life of over 30 years.

The Canadian mining company has estimated a project cost of approximately $2bn for the Lumwana copper mine expansion project. Construction at the Zambian copper mine in this regard is scheduled to commence towards the end of 2024.

Barrick Gold president and chief executive Mark Bristow said: “In line with Barrick’s partnership philosophy, our REDD+ initiative will uplift our host communities through conservation of the natural forest surrounding the mine.

“Resources have already been allocated and engagement with the communities is underway. We are in discussion with the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment to facilitate the required licensing and our partnership with local government.”

According to Barrick Gold, the Lumwana project has contributed nearly $3bn to the Zambian economy in various forms, including taxes, salaries, royalties, and the procurement of goods and services.

The mining company took over operations at the copper mine in 2019.

Predominantly sulphide, the Lumwana ore is treated through a conventional sulphide flotation plant to produce copper concentrate.

Last month, Lycopodium secured a contract worth A$19m for the feasibility study and basic engineering for the Lumwana copper mine expansion project.

The integrated engineering, construction and asset management solutions provider aims to wrap up the feasibility study by the end of this year.