July 8 (Bloomberg) -- Vale SA, the world's biggest exporter of iron ore, and African Rainbow Minerals Ltd. will invest $400 million in the development of a new copper mine at Konkola North in northern Zambia.
Construction of the mine will begin in September and is expected to take two-and-a-half years to complete, Eduard Ledsham, an executive director at Rio de Janeiro-based Vale, told reporters today in Lusaka. Ledsham was in the country as part of a Brazilian business delegation traveling with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on his six-nation tour of Africa.
"The Konkola North mine will become a kick-off for our copper mining in Africa," Ledsham said. "We expect to have another project for exploration in the area near this one."
The Konkola North mine, located north of the Konkola Deep mine operated by Vedanta Resources Plc, will start production in 2013. Initial output is estimated at 50,000 metric tons a year, which will later be expanded to 100,000 tons, Ledsham said.
Zambia is Africa's biggest copper producer.
Lula held talks with Zambian President Rupiah Banda while in Lusaka, before departing for Johannesburg, South Africa.