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Contractors project increased copper output

By BUUMBA CHIMBULU

ASSOCIATION of Mine Suppliers and Contractors has projected an increase in copper production to one million tonnes this year as it urges Government to issue a one-month ultimatum to Chambeshi Metals investor to resume operations.

An increase in finished copper production to one million tonnes will be driven by the high metal prices on the London Metal Exchange, says association president, Augustine Mubanga.

Mr Mubanga also banked his expectations on increase in production by Mopani Copper Mines and the unbundling of Konkola Copper Mine (KCM).

“We need to quickly create a conducive environment for increased copper production especially in Mopani and KCM. This will help in creating high copper exports and in turn increase forex earnings.

“Due to non-recapitalisation, we feel that the unbundling of the mine will attract efficiency, increased productivity, and full utilisation of the its assets including its human capital,” he said during a press briefing in Kitwe yesterday.

Mr Mubanga however said the association was concerned with the continued care and maintenance of Chambeshi Metals.

He explained that the owners of the mine had indicated to put the mine on care and maintenance only for three months, but it was more than a year now.

Mr Mubanga explained that the reopening of Chambeshi Metals would be an added advantage to the increase in copper production for this year.

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