Lubambe Copper Mine is an underground mining operation situated on the Zambian Copperbelt close to the town of Chllilabombwe.

The Lubambe Copper Mine is 80% owned by EMR Capital Resources, while 20% is held by ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc.

Location

The greater Lubambe mining licence area includes the extensions of the copper mineralisation from the current south and east Limb of the current mine to the Konkola basin in the south as well as the area to the east, covering the Kawiri and Kawiri North basins.

The extension of the Lubambe Copper Mine includes the expansion of operations into an area six kilometres south of the current mine, within the allocated Large-scale Mining Licence area, along the Konkola basin. The Joint Venture has previously completed a pre-feasibility study on a resource of 80 million tonnes, which would boost total production output to 100 000 tonnes of copper in concentrate per annum. Initial drill results Indicate an average ore-body width of approximately 11 metres at 2.81’10 total copper and an average depth of 1 100 metres below surface.

Contact Details

Plot 655, Zimbabwe Rood, Chingola, Zambia
P.O Box 11215, Chingola,Zambia
Phone: +260 212 310052/53/54
Fax: +260 212 310055

Present Status

Construction of the concentrator plant was completed in September 2012, two months ahead of schedule. The commissioning was completed In October 2012 with initial concentrate production in the same month. The total cost of the project is USD456 million. Up to 1 500 full-time employees will be employed at full production.

Production

The mine’s throughput design from both the south and east Limb ore bodies is 2.5 million tonnes of ore, at an average mill head grade of 2.3’10 copper, which will result in the production of 45 000 tonnes of contained copper in concentrate per annum. Life of mine Is estimated at 28 years. Longitudinal room and pillar (LRP) stoping commenced in August 2012. Copper concentrate produced by Lubambe will be sold for smelting and refining within Zambia. All the copper concentrate sale agreements have been agreed and signed and the first concentrate was sold in October 2012.

Corporate Social Responsibility

The mine’s corporate social responsibility programme includes a resettlement and a Millennium Village Project. Under the resettlement, the company has undertaken to re-settle 205 households from an area to be affected by mining to a new area within the existing Konkola Village.

Lubambe has initiated programmes to entrench safety, environmental responsibility and community interaction from the outset. A campaign to drive these programmes was initiated early in 2011. This campaign Is known as ‘Target Zero… pantu tulasakamana’ (pantu tulasakamana being a Bemba phrase meaning ‘because we care’). Its aims to include the entrenchment of safety and health as a culture, within the workforce and the surrounding communities.

The mine’s environmental management programme includes monitoring of dust, noise, diesel emissions, water quality, vibration and Illumination. Audits are conducted to establish performance against the requirements of the environmental management programme’s targets.

Extract from 2018 annual report

Lubambe continued with restructuring through downsizing of output and the reduction of related labour cost. The largest contributors to the unit cost savings were a reduction in labour cost due to a 66.00% reduction in expatriate labour, a reduction in stoping dilution obtained through an improvement in the mining stoping method, and a 4.00% increase in plant recoveries obtained through plant optimisation initiatives.

This is the first reporting period in which Lubambe operated in accordance with the reduced production target of 80,000 tonnes of ore per month. The reduced target was implemented in March 2016 to curtail operating losses, save cash and preserve the ore body whilst implementing a strategy to upgrade the underground dewatering infrastructure.

During the period under review a labour restructuring programme was successfully concluded which aligned the total labour complement with the revised lower production rate of 80,000 tonnes per month. Ongoing capital expenditure was curtailed to preserve cash with the majority of expenditure being incurred for mine ramp development.

The Lubambe Extension Project was put on hold until an opportune time when conditions are suitable for additional investment. This high-grade area remains an integral part of the future development of the Lubambe ore body.

Lubambe Copper Mine Limited (Lubambe) reported revenues of K517.37 million (US$54.18 million) for the year ended 31st March 2018 [(2017: K824.92 million (US$ 83.65 million)]. Operating costs were above budget at K1,021.84 million US$107.01 million compared to the K973.62 million (US$101.96 million) target due to increased engineering activity as production was being increased. The loss for the year was K350.4 million (US$36.70 million). Lubambe’s financial year was changed to now run from 1st January to 31st December.

For the 9 months to 31st March 2018 Lubambe’s mined volumes were 840, 376 tons of copper ore, above the target of 808,122 tons as activity was being ramped up. Total contained copper produced over the same period was 14,891 tons, above the target of 14,566 tons.

The historical losses had been caused by the initial challenges Lubambe had faced during the project’s development phase which included flooding, dilution during the mining process due a thin ore body thereby increasing running costs. Dilution was further exacerbated by the wide inter-level vertical spacing which was upwards of 17 meters ramp spacing.

During the year under review, EMR Capital of Australia completed the purchase of the ARM and VALE stakes in Konnoco, thereby gaining an 80% ownership of Lubambe. After the acquisition, EMR Capital put in place various interventions at the mining and ore treatment processes to improve production.

Production had initially been capped at 80,000 tonnes of ore to contain costs but in EMR’s business model this level is deemed to be unsustainable. EMR have ramped up and are targeting to reach the 200,000 tonnes of ore production level by 2019.

There were no dividends declared during the year under review (2016: Nil).

Extract from 2017 annual report

Lubambe continued with restructuring through downsizing of output and the reduction of related labour cost.
The largest contributors to the unit cost savings were a reduction in labour cost due to a 66.00% reduction in expatriate labour, a reduction in stoping dilution obtained through an improvement in the mining stoping method, and a 4.00% increase in plant recoveries obtained through plant optimisation initiatives.

This is the first reporting period in which Lubambe operated in accordance with the reduced production target of 80,000 tonnes of ore per month. The reduced target was implemented in March 2016 to curtail operating losses, save cash and preserve the ore body whilst implementing a strategy to upgrade the underground dewatering infrastructure.

During the period under review a labour restructuring programme was successfully concluded which aligned the total labour complement with the revised lower production rate of 80,000 tonnes per month. Ongoing capital expenditure was curtailed to preserve cash with the majority of expenditure being incurred for mine ramp development.

The Lubambe Extension Project was put on hold until an opportune time when conditions are suitable for additional investment. This high-grade area remains an integral part of the future development of the Lubambe ore body.

During the second half of 2016, more than 300% increase in underground pumping capacity was obtained through the successful upgrade of the underground pumping infrastructure. The upgrades enabled Lubambe to dewater all declines that were previously flooded for a period of 10 months. Following the dewatering, substantial progress was made in the development of the declines. During November and December 2016, decline development advance was well in excess of requirements for sustainable production. This achievement will enable Lubambe to obtain access to new ore development areas at a faster rate, which will enhance the ability to ramp-up mining production.

There were no dividends declared during the year under review (2015: Nil).

Copper

Extracting value from tier one assets by improving efficiencies and operations.