Barrick Gold has revealed plans to invest approximately $2bn in an expansion project designed to ramp up the annual production of the Lumwana copper mine located in Zambia.

Through the investment, the Canadian mining company aims to increase the annual output at the Zambian copper mine to about 240,000 tonnes of copper from a 50 million tonnes per annum process plant over a 36-year mine life.

Barrick Gold plans to complete the full feasibility study of the Lumwana expansion project by the end of 2024, with expanded process plant production brought forward to 2028.

Earlier this year, the company disclosed its intention to extend the life of the Zambian copper mine beyond 2060.

Barrick Gold president and chief executive Mark Bristow said: “Barrick believes that its host countries are its key stakeholders and that partnering with them creates sustainable value for both of us.

“In Zambia as elsewhere in our global network, we seek to share the economic benefits generated by our mines with the countries’ governments and people, notably our neighbouring communities.”

Located nearly 100km west of Solwezi in Zambia’s Copperbelt, the Lumwana project is a conventional open pit truck and shovel operation.

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

Barrick Gold took over operations at the Zambian copper mine in 2019.

According to the company, 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.

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema said: “This is a show of confidence in our New Dawn government by one of the world’s leading mining companies. Our laser focus is on establishing Zambia as a global mining destination.

“We have also set ourselves the target of producing 3 million tonnes of copper by 2030. Barrick is a key strategic partner on this journey.”