LUSAKA, March 1 (Reuters) - Copperbelt Energy Company, the sole power distributor to Zambia's copper mines, said on Monday it had finished a power line for the Konkola Deep Mining Project, which will lift production at the Konkola Copper Mines.
"The Konkola expansion project we are doing in conjunction with Konkola Copper Mines is basically complete on the power side," CEC executive chairman Hanson Sindowe told journalists.
The Konkola Deep Mining Project (KDMP) will lift total production for the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to 500,000 tonnes in 2011 from about 300,000 tonnes this year and is due to be commissioned next month, according to the CEC.
The Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), a new mine project being developed by the London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc (VED.L), the Copperbelt Energy Company (CEC) after it announced two years ago it would develop the KDMP.
KDMP had been abandoned by its previous owners Anglo American Plc (AAL.L), before the diversified global mining firm pulled out of KCM in 2002.
Sindowe also said CEC was also in talks with the Chinese-owned Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM) for building of power infrastructure to its Mulyashi project. LCM's owners say the mine could start producing around 60,000 tonnes of copper cathodes at an unspecified date.
The CEC said in February that it plans to boost electricity supply to meet demand from mines, which is seen rising to 1,000 megawatts within five years from the current 700-800 MW.
Some foreign mining companies operating in Zambia include Canada's First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO), Glencore International AG [GLEN.UL] of Switzerland, Metorex (MTXJ.J) of South Africa and Equinox Minerals Ltd., (EQN.TO) (EQN.AX) of Australia.