Lumwana Copper Concentrate Project - a look back

Service Area Process Plants

10 years on, Greg Lane reflects on the design and construction of the then largest copper concentrator in Africa.

10 years on, Ausenco reflects on the design and construction of the then largest copper concentrator in Africa.

Located in the North Western Province of Zambia, the Lumwana Copper Concentrate Project is one of the largest copper projects in Africa processing 20 million tonnes a year over a 37 year life-of-mine.

Ausenco’s scope included the design, supply, construction and commissioning of a 20 Mt/y copper concentrator including associated on-site infrastructure. With extensive experience delivering low cost plants, Ausenco designed a capital efficient concentrator without compromising our core values of safety, and operability.

Ausenco identified numerous capital reduction strategies, including:

  • Simple flow sheet with a 60 x 89 gyratory crusher, 38 ft. diameter SAG mill and 160 m3 flotation tank cells
  • Conical stock pile design which included a single reclaim tunnel and provided sufficient capacity for 18-hour storage of product
  • Layout allowed for optimal use of mobile equipment and fixed overhead cranes were minimised reducing the structural steel requirements.

The project was completed within budget and with over 5 million man hours LTI free out of a total of 7.8 million man hours worked. Logistics and freight were executed without delay and new procurement networks were successfully established in southern Africa. At peak construction, 2,300 personnel were employed, with 90% of the work force local.

The above lump sum EPC project was completed in 2008. In 2010, Ausenco optimised the process plant to 25 Mt/y and provided EPCM services for another 25 Mt/y crushing circuit and infrastructure for a new open pit at the project.

Ask us how we were able to reduce bulk material requirements well below industry standards. #AskAusencoHow

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