Jul 09, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News Select via Comtex) -- Brazilian mining company Vale SA (VALE) will invest up to $400 million to develop Konkola North Copper mine In Zambia's Copperbelt province, a company executive said Friday.
In remarks broadcast on Zambia's national television, Eduard Ledsham, the executive director of Vale, said that construction work at the mine would start in September and take two and a half years to complete. Konkola North Mine is expected to commence copper production by 2013.
The initial output is forecast to be at least 50,000 metric tons of copper a year and this would be doubled in the second phase starting in 2015, he added. Konkola North Mine is a joint venture between Vale and African Rainbow Minerals.
Zambia, Africa's largest copper producer, has seen a surge in investments in its copper mining sector since 2006. The country's annual copper output is projected to hit 1 million tons by 2012.
Vale company executives were in Zambia this week to attend a business forum. Scores of Brazilian investors are accompanying President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on his two-day state visit to Zambia, according to the Zambian presidency.
The Brazilian leader is on a six-nation tour of Africa.