Jun 30, 2011 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- Zambia's Konkola Copper Mines, has completed the sinking of a major underground deep mine shaft which is expected to enable the miner to increase annual output to 400,000 metric tons in the next few years, the company said Thursday.
The shaft has been sunk to a depth of 1,505 meters in Zambia's Chililabombwe town, in the Copperbelt, the company said in a statement. With the sinking completed, the company will start installing mining equipment in the shaft, he added.
KCM, Zambia's second largest copper mining company by output, is a unit of London-listed Vedanta Resources PLC (VED.LN)
The new shaft is expected to increase the company's annual copper ore output, to 7.5 million tons from the current 2 million tons when it comes fully on stream in 2012-13, company officials have said.
The shaft will allow the company access to richer ore bodies beneath the mine property, according to Billy Sakala, the deep mine project manager.
The deep mine project is among the $2 billion in expansion projects implemented by Vedanta since it took over KCM in 2004.
Vedanta announced last year that it planned to raise at least $1.1 billion by listing at least 25% of KCM's shares on the London Stock Exchange. The listing, slated for late last year, was postponed and is now expected to be later this year.
KCM produced 217,000 tons of copper cathode in fiscal year ended March 31, 2010.