ZAMBIA – Zambia may be Africa’s second largest copper producer, but its government is proposing a cash grab by more than tripling royalties for the Lumwana copper-uranium-cobalt mine 65 km west of Solwezi. Owner Barrick Gold Corp. of Toronto says it will have to seriously consider the project’s future.
Barrick spokesman Andy Lloyd told Bloomberg News, “Lumwana is a low grade, open pit operation with constrained margins. Applying a 20% royalty rate on Lumwana would seriously challenge the economic viability of the mine.”
Barrick acquired the Lumwana mine in 2011 when it bought Equinox Minerals. The mine produced 260 million lb of copper in 2013. At the end of last year, the property has proven and probable reserves of 393.9 million tonnes at 0.557% Cu or 6.5 billion lb of copper.
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