File image: Reuters

Zambia's state-owned power company Zesco Ltd. plans to build a new 330 kV power transmission line to provide electricity to new mines, the environmental management agency said on Thursday.

Zesco applied for environmental approval to build the power line, which would feed First Quantum Minerals' Kalumbila mine and Barrick Gold's Lumwana mine, the agency said.

Under Zambian law the environmental management agency has to approve all significant infrastructure projects.

“The estimated capital cost of the project is $249.3 million and project implementation will take approximately 30 months,” the agency said in a statement.

Barrick acquired Lumwana, which was set to produce between 230 million and 260 million pounds of copper in 2012, through its $7.7 billion takeover of Equinox Minerals in 2011.

Canada's First Quantum will invest $1 billion in the new mine at Kalumbila, which is expected to produce 300,000 tonnes of copper annually at peak production. - Reuters