Barrick Gold Corporation, the world’s largest gold miner, announced on Wednesday a $2 billion investment in its Lumwana copper mine in Zambia to double annual production and extend the mine’s life span.
The investment is a major boost for Zambia’s copper industry, which is the country’s biggest export earner. Zambia is Africa’s second-largest copper producer after the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Barrick Gold Corporation Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow said the investment will increase annual production at Lumwana to an estimated 240,000 tonnes of copper per annum, making it one of the largest copper mines in the world.
The investment will also extend the life of the Lumwana mine to 2060.
“This investment is a reflection of our confidence in Zambia’s copper industry and its potential to contribute to economic growth and development,” Bristow said in a statement.
The Zambian government has set a goal of increasing annual copper production to three million tonnes per annum by 2030. Barrick Gold’s investment in Lumwana will help Zambia to achieve this goal.
The investment is also a positive development for Barrick Gold, which has been looking to diversify its portfolio away from gold. Copper is a key metal for the electric vehicle and renewable energy industries, which are growing rapidly.
The investment in Lumwana is expected to be completed by 2028.