First Quantum Minerals would consider investing as much as $1.5 billion (R18.7bn) to build a power plant in Botswana that will supply its mine in neighbouring Zambia, a venture partner said. Current plans for a 300 megawatt coal-fired plant with an estimated cost of $750 million at the Sese power project in Botswana could be doubled, Frazer Tabeart, chief executive of African Energy Resources, said yesterday in Gaborone. First Quantum is increasing its stake in the Sese project to 75 percent for A$12m (R115m), he said. First Quantum needs power for its 80 percent-owned Kansanshi mine in Zambia, the largest copper mine in Africa, which is expected to produce about 350 000 tons of the metal a year. The company’s additional investment with African Energy will fund a study whether to build the larger plant. – Bloomberg