Barrick Gold seeks partnership with Zambian government for Lumwana copper mine
Barrick Gold, owners of the Lumwana copper mine, says it is continuing to engage with the Zambian government and community stakeholders about a mutually-beneficial way forward for the operation.
Subsequent to the first Lumwana board meeting following the Barrick/Randgold merger, Barrick’s chief operating officer for Africa and the Middle East, Willem Jacobs, said the company was mindful that the government was under pressure to increase its revenue. At the same time, however, its proposed tax changes would put Lumwana in a challenging situation.
Jacobs commented: “The proposed changes to taxes and royalties would imperil the mine’s ability to sustain returns to all stakeholders, such as the significant contribution of more than $3.3 billion it has already made to the Zambian economy over the past 10 years.
“Lumwana has made detailed proposals to the Government about a partnership approach which would provide the State with an improved share in the economics of Lumwana without overburdening the mine. Finding a win-win solution between the industry and Government would without doubt increase investor confidence in Zambia and safeguard the long-term prospects of its mining industry.”
Jacobs said media reports that Barrick had sold Lumwana were untrue, but given the challenging conditions the mine was facing, all options would have to be considered.
Barrick Gold advised today that it had met its production targets for 2018. The world’s largest bullion miner produced 4.5 million ounces of gold, 1.26 million ounces of which were produced in the final quarter of the year.
Although the production performance was in line with its 4.5 million to 5 million guidance for 2018, it fell below 2017’s production of 5.32 million ounces.
This news follows the announcement earlier in January that Barrick Gold had completed its $18.3bn merger with Randgold Resources.
The Lumwana copper mine is a conventional open pit (truck and shovel) operation. It’s located about 100 kilometers west of Solwezi in Zambia’s Copperbelt - one of the most prospective copper regions in the world. Lumwana ore, which is predominantly sulfide, is treated through a conventional sulfide flotation plant, producing copper concentrate.
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