Businessexcellence ACHIEVING ONLINE
Equinox Minerals November 09 www. bus- ex. com 43 I t's a case of sixth time ' lucky' for the Zambian copper mine in Lumwana, which is now producing saleable copper concentrate after at least five previous developers had failed to bring the mine on stream. But it's taken the pooled financial backing of 14 international banks and clearing houses to secure the almost $ 1 billion needed to develop and build the mine. The company that managed to achieve the previously impossible is Equinox Minerals, jointly listed on the Canadian and Australian stock exchanges and co- founded by long time geologist and mine developer Craig Williams and the late Bruce Nisbet in 1993. Williams, who is now president and chief executive officer, has been directly involved in several significant discoveries, including the Ernest Henry Deposit in Queensland and a series of gold deposits in Western Australia, earning Williams and Nisbet the joint accolade of Prospector of the Year in 1994 from the Australian Association of Mining and Exploration Companies. Situated 220 kilometres north- west of the Zambian Copperbelt, and less than an hour's drive from the Congolese border, Lumwana has an estimated reserve of over 300 million tonnes of ore. Compared with ore from Zambia's primary deposits, Lumwana ore is much lower in quality: 0.73 per cent copper compared to an average 2.5 per cent. Copper prices have been quite volatile over the past decade. When Equinox acquired the mine in 2001, copper " The 20 million tonnes per annum ore is being crushed in what's believed to be the largest ball mill in the world"