Barrick: Lumwana Super Pit coming in ‘28

Barrick has confirmed it is accelerating progress for the Lumwana copper mine’s Super Pit project in Zambia, estimating first production in 2028.

Barrick President and CEO Mark Bristow advised Zambian president Hakainde Hichilema of the fast-track during a meeting on 23 January.

The project includes transforming Lumwana into one of the world’s major copper mines, with projected annual production of around 240,000 tonnes per year over a 30-plus-year mine life.

“It is a key component of the Zambian government’s drive to revive the country’s copper industry over the next 10 years,” the miner said. The estimated cost of the project is almost $2 billion and construction is scheduled to start towards the end of 2024.

Since Barrick refocused its strategy in 2019, Lumwana, the once struggling mine, has been restructured and re-engineered into a significant contributor to Barrick’s expanding copper portfolio. The ramp-up of the reopened Malundwe pit and completion of the transition to owner mining supported the achievement of its production guidance for 2023.

Since 2019, Lumwana has contributed almost $3 billion to the Zambian economy in the form of royalties, taxes, salaries and the procurement of goods and services from local businesses.

Local procurement of $472 million in 2023 made up more than 81% of total spend for Lumwana. Barrick has also launched a Business Accelerator Program designed to build the business capacity of the Zambian contractors in its supply chain, equipping them to grow and diversify their enterprises and remain sustainable beyond Lumwana’s life of mine.

“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,” Bristow said.


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