Vedanta to invest $1 billion in Zambian copper mine

A bird flies by the Vedanta office building in Mumbai August 16, 2010. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

LUSAKA (Reuters) - Indian mining company Vedanta Resources said on Friday it will invest $1 billion in its Zambian mining unit Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), creating 7,000 jobs.

Vedanta announced the investment after a meeting between its Chairman Anil Agrawal and Zambian President Edgar Lungu.

Vedanta has a majority stake in KCM and has said the mine could produce copper for another 50 years.

Since 2004, KCM has invested almost $4 billion to upgrade and expand. Vedanta did not say how much the additional $1 billion would expand production or by when.

Agrawal said he wanted KCM to be the biggest integrated copper producer in Africa.

“The ramp up of Konkola is the centerpiece of my 50-year vision for KCM. It’s technically very challenging, because of the massive amount of water we have to pump out of the mine, but I’m determined to find technical solutions,” Agrawal said in a statement.

KCM is one of Zambia’s largest mining firms and produced 168,923 tonnes of finished copper in the financial year ended March 31, 2015, the latest available data.

Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Susan Fenton