First Quantum Minerals has resumed operations at its Bwana Mkubwa copper SX/EW plant in Zambia.

In October 2008 the plant became idle following a shortage of feedstock as ore shipments to the plant from the Lonshi open pit mine in the adjoining Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were not allowed.

In November 2007 the DRC decided not to allow First Quantum’s export of copper ores and exploration core samples to Zambia from the Lonshi mine.

The Lonshi open pit mine’s stockpiled ore will now be processed at the plant.

The plant’s initial monthly production target will be 800t of copper cathode up to the end of 2010.

The company said it will continue to look for additional economical feed sources for the plant.