Zambia’s largest mining operation, Konkola Copper Mines plc (KCM), is nearly ready to commission the Konkola Deep Mining Project.  This mine expansion project, in combination with the new Nchanga Smelter, will increase the mine’s output from 200,000 tonnes per year to 500,000 tonnes per year by 2010. 

In order to enable the increase in ore output, a new shaft was sunk. The new production shaft # 4 reaches to 1,490 meters below the surface and will service production levels at 1050, 1150, 1250, and 1350 meters depth.  The company anticipates returning 40 % of the tailings back underground for remediation purposes.

The Konkola underground mine is known as the wettest mine in the world. The mine must be continuously pumped to remove the copious water seepage.  Underground improvements will increase the “water make” from 290,000 cubic meters of water to 430,000 cubic meters of water per day.  The water pumps are expected to draw 90 MW of continuous power to do their job.

KCM has invested US$12 million in new sulfuric acid capacity at Chingola. This sulfur burning plant will produce 500 tonnes per day of sulfuric acid for use in the Nchanga Tailings Leach Plant.

KCM also operates an open pit mine nearby.