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FQM commences nickel mine operations

Works on the controversial Chisola Dam in Chief Musele's area in Solwezi North Western Province where First Quantum Minerals is developing Kalumbila Mines have taken shape despite a Protection Order issued against First Quantum Minerals over the construction of Chisola dam

Trident Limited, a subsidiary of First Quantum Minerals (FQM) is set to turn into Africa’s largest Nickel mine as production has commenced at its Enterprise Nickel mine in Kalumbila district of North-western province.

FQM Trident Public Relations Officer Mwiza Nzila confirmed to ZANIS in Kalumbila today, that production at the Nickel mine has commenced and the mining firm is expected to ramp up annual production to 32,000 tonnes of Nickel.

“Following the first ore processing through the plant in February, 2023, the production of a saleable grade of concentrate at Enterprise started in Quarter 2 of 2023,” said Ms Nzila.

She further stated that the initial Nickel ore is transitional and the quality is expected to improve as the mining pit keeps being developed and deepened.

“The ramp-up of mining operations, continues commercial production and full plant throughput in 2024, as plant performance will improve as the ore quality improves when the pit deepens. 2023 production for Enterprise is expected to be at the lower end of guidance of 5,000 –10,000 contained tonnes of Nickel,” explained Ms Nzila.

She emphasized that as the pit develops, it is expected that production volumes will increase towards 32,000 tonnes of Nickel per year, making Enterprise mine the biggest Nickel mine in Africa.

“The employment profile between FQM Trident and the Mining Contractors currently stands at 700 full-time employees in the Enterprise Project,” she added.

Ms Nzila also stated that FQM planned to restart the Enterprise project last year, which included the resumption of the pre-stripping of the pit, the construction of the required infrastructures and the completion and refurbishment of the process plant at a cost of $100 Million.

“The project cost is on track with this investment,” added Ms Nzila.