PREMIERCON Starch Processing Company is establishing a cassava plantation in Solwezi West to produce cassava feedstock for use in developing copper ore into copper concentrate at Kalumbila mine.
Cassava starch powder can be used as a re-agent in the processing of chalcopyrite, a copper sulfide into copper concentrate.
This is according to a copy of the concept paper by Premiercon.
According to Premiercon, Kalumbila Mine’s stock is sourced abroad but the Solwezi-based small and medium enterprise, intends to launch a 250-hectare greenfield cassava farm including a processing facility in the Kalumbila Multi-Facility Economic Zone to supply, per annum, an estimated 1,200 tonnes of starch to the mine which is expected to process in excess of 55 million tonnes of chalcopyrite ore per year.
To ensure a bumper yields and sustained supply, Premiercon plans to create more than 600 schemed clusters of outgrowers in Musele, Sailunga and Ntambu chiefdoms built around 493 communities displaced by mining activities to grow one hectare of cassava per farmer.
Premiercon would also offer agro-extension support services to farmers in partnership with Kalumbila Mine conservation unit, Ministry of Agriculture and international non-governmental organisations in ensuring quality, cheaper and more readily available cassava starch but more significantly create alternative jobs for most local people.
Apart from producing dry starch powder for the mine, the cassava pulp would also be processed into dry flour for industrial products, human and animal foods.