Lycopodium has secured a contract worth A$19m ($12.45m) for the feasibility study and basic engineering for the expansion of Barrick Gold’s Lumwana copper mine located in Zambia.

According to Lycopodium, work related to the contract at the Zambian copper mine has already started. The integrated engineering, construction and asset management solutions provider aims to wrap up the feasibility study by the end of 2024.

Besides, the expanded process plant production at the Lumwana copper mine is scheduled to begin in 2028.

Lycopodium’s new contract comes after the award earlier in 2023 for the feasibility study and basic engineering work for Barrick’s Reko Diq copper-gold project in Pakistan.

Lycopodium managing director Peter De Leo said: “The expansion of Lumwana within Zambia’s world-class copper region supports the country’s commitment to its copper industry, and we are very pleased to have the opportunity to continue our partnership with Barrick and be part of this significant development that will have a material impact on the Zambian economy.”

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 copper mine in 2019.

Through the expansion, the Lumwana mine’s annual production will increase from 150,000 tonnes of copper at a 26-28 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) process plant production rate, to nearly 240,000 tonnes of copper at a 50Mtpa process plant production rate.

The estimated mine life of the copper mine is 36 years.

In October 2022, Barrick Gold revealed its plans to invest approximately $2bn in the Lumwana expansion project.