Luanshya Copper Mines’ Baluba underground mine has run out of copper reserves, sources at the Ministry of Mines has disclosed.
The mine which was opened in 1973 had a lifespan of 30 years.
The troubled underground mine, which has exchanged hands 3 times since privatization in 1997, has been under Chinese ownership since 2009.
When China Nonferrous Mining Corporation (CNMC) took over the mine in 2009, it had 5 years left on its lifespan.
The Mine has been under pressure from the PF government and has been told not to announce the depletion of ore reserves at Baluba until after the elections next year.
“The mine has run out ore reserves, they have already informed the ministry and we are aware. Right now what is keeping Baluba mine running is the black mountain, what they are doing is that they are only mining 1,500 tones of the remaining low grade ore at Baluba and crushing 3,000 tones of slag to balance the production”, said the source.
The source further revealed that the management at the mine had embarked on exploration works in the Lufubu area between 2012 and 2018 but the results were not good.
We have approved their second exploration application for Mashibu area just within their license area and we hope that the results there will be positive. But between now and that time the mine will continue to rely on processing the slag from the black mountain to keep over 2,850 miners in employment.
Baluba mine runs out of copper reserves