LUSAKA, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Zambia's Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) owned by London-listed Vedanta Resources (VED.L) plans to invest $1 billion in the next 3-4 years on expansion and upgrades in a bid to become a major global copper producer, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
KCM CEO Kishore Kumar said in a statement the new investment falls under the company's plans to raise output to 400,000 tonnes of copper per year by 2012.
"We see the need to invest another $1 billion in the next three to four years," Kumar said.
Kumar said KCM would also seek to expand its current operations through new exploration.
"This country has huge copper resources and every part of Zambia is good for investments. We have an aggresive programme for exploration for the next 2-3 years," he said.
KCM's mine life was recently extended to 2035 from 2012 after the development of new projects, including the Konkola Deep Mine project (KDMP) expected to come on stream in 2012.
Kumar said KCM would seek to increase it further as the company aimed to help Zambia raise its copper production and rank among major global producers such as Chile.