Zambia targets to produce 740,000 MT copper in 2016

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 10:51:25 +0000


ZAMBIA’S copper production for 2016 is expected to hit 740, 000 tonnes, mainly supported by greenfield mining projects, says the Zambia Chamber of Mines (ZCM).

ZCM acting chief executive officer, Talent Ng’andwe, explained in an interview that greenfield mining projects such as Kalumbila mine heavily contributed to the anticipated copper production.

“Zambia’s annual production has reached pre-nationalisation levels. Production in 2016 is projected to hit 740, 000 tonnes on account of greenfield mining projects such as Kalumbila which has offset production losses at other mines,” he said.

Mr Ng’andwe also said the mining sector was committed to its macroeconomic contributions despite the tough economic conditions the sector had been experiencing.

He explained that the copper output in the third quarter of the period under review had exceeded similar periods in the last two years.

“This is attributed to increase in production at the Kalumbila, a new mine in the North Western Province owned by First Quantum Minerals (FQM),

“This should emphasise the need to attract new investments in the mines and Government should strive to make conditions for investment favourable,” he said.

On the current employment status at the mines, Mr Ng’andwe said the nine largest mining operations employed a total of 27,318 direct employees while 23, 888 were on contracts.

Mr Ng’andwe said this was against projections of employment which was expected to be low in 2016 due to challenges in the sector such as low commodity pricing and power deficits.

He explained that the mining industry was projected to lay off over 16, 800 workers in the year under review, but this did not happen due to net increase in employment caused by the Kalumbila’s revamp.

Mr Ng’andwe hoped that stakeholders in the industry continued to open up in discussions going forward for mutual benefit.

“The mining sector in Zambia has faced challenges that have been beyond the control of all stakeholders, including the low copper price and nationwide power deficit,” he said.


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