Zambia’s Equinox Minerals is to acquire Citadel Resource Group for $1.23bn.

The deal will give Equinox control of Citadel’s flagship Jabal Sayid copper-gold development project in western Saudi Arabia, which has a deposit of 3.75 million tons of ore.

The first production from the project is expected in 2011/12.

Equinox’s main project is the Lumwana copper mine in Zambia, which is expected to produce 140,000t of copper, making it Africa’s largest mine.