By SILUMESI MALUMO
SEVEN investors have shown interest to take over Mopani Copper Mines, Minister of Mines and Mineral Development, Richard Musukwa has said.
Mr Musukwa said the government was eager to ensure that an equity partner was identified to run the operations of the mine.
The minister said once the partner was engaged the mine would be run smoothly in cooperation with ZCCM-IH which was the major shareholder.
Mr Musukwa also appealed to local investors to take interest in taking over the operations of the mining giant.
Mr Musukwa said the government wants to see Zambians were on the centre stage of running the mining firms.
Meanwhile, Mr Musukwa said the country recorded an increase in copper production in 2020.
He said eight large-scale mining companies contributed massively to the increase in copper production.
Mr Musukwa said, “copper production increased to 888, 061.46 tonnes in 2020 compared to 796, 430.77 tonnes recorded in 2019 representing an increase of 9.71 percent.”
“Copper production by small-scale mines increased to 13, 391 tonnes in 2020 from 8, 732 tonnes recorded in 2019 representing an increase of 34.8 percent.
The increase in copper production by large-scale mines is mainly attributed to increase in production by Kalumbila Minerals and Kansanshi Mines PLC while the increase in Copper production by small-scale mines is due to increased processing capacities by small-scale mines in 2020 as compared to 2019 as well as stabilised power supply,” he said.
Mr Musukwa also said the country recorded an increase in coal production, from 361, 647 tonnes in 2019 to 448, 821.40 tonnes in 2020.
He said the increase in the production was due to the high demand for coal for power generation.
Gold production, he said, reduced to 3, 578.81 kg in 2020 as compared to 3, 912.753 kg in 2019. Mr Musukwa said “the reduction in gold production is due to reduced grades of gold ores mined at Kansanshi.
He also said the prospect for the mining sector looks positive despite the Covid-19.