MMG to invest $700 million to double copper output at Botswana mine

Khoemacau’s copper-silver project in Botswana. Credit: Fluor

Chinese miner MMG Ltd will invest $700 million to double production at Botswana’s Khoemacau copper mine as part of a growth strategy to secure the critical metal, an official said on Wednesday.

MMG announced in March that it had completed a deal to buy Canada-based Cuprous Capital, the parent company of the copper mine which lies in the Kalahari Copper Belt.

Amid a surge in demand for the metal required for the green energy transition, Khoemacau has embarked on an expansion which will see the mine’s copper output more than double to 130,000 metric tons from 60,000, said Khoemacau managing director Johan Ferreira at a mining conference, while silver output will rise to 5 million ounces a year from 1.6 million.

“Our new owners are committed to the expansion project… with first concentrate expected from the last quarter of 2027,” Ferreira said.

The expansion will also see the number of workers rise to 2,800 from 1,700.

The Kalahari Copper Belt, which extends for nearly 1,000 km from northeast Botswana to western Namibia, is one of the world’s emerging but mostly under-explored copper-silver regions.

Analysts say the emerging copper belt, buoyed by rising international copper prices, could help Botswana diversify beyond diamond mining, which contributes more than 70% of its export revenue.

(By Brian Benza; Editing by Bhargav Acharya and Kirsten Donovan)


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