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NEW GOVERNMENT GIVES COPPER PRODUCTION A PUSH

NEW GOVERNMENT GIVES COPPER PRODUCTION A PUSH

ZAMBIA is expected to increase copper production output following the indication by the new Government to dialogue with Mining companies over mineral royalties. 

Despite the southern African nation’s copper production rising to a record last year, output has largely stagnated over the past decade because of the industry’s hostile relationship with outgoing President Edgar Lungu’s government, reports Bloomberg.

The new Government has reset the tone to one of rebuilding confidence and spurring growth,  Chamber of Mines President Godwin Beene said in response to emailed questions Thursday. 

“The industry is very positive that with this common-goal approach to the way forward, there will be more of a partnership with government than we have ever seen before.”

In 2010, Zambia produced nearly twice as much of the metal as the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north. By last year, Zambia’s output was almost half that of the DRC’s, limiting the benefit of record prices.

And according to financial publication, Bloomberg, Mining companies are ready to start expansion projects worth $2 billion in Zambia next year if the industry can reach an agreement on royalties with President-elect Hakainde Hichilema’s new administration.

The companies including First Quantum Minerals Ltd. and EMR Capital who are ready to raise funding for the projects, while other Mining companies need to spend “hundreds of millions of dollars” in capital that they’d held back since 2019 because of tax changes that deterred investment, the Zambia Chamber of Mines said.

BY OLIVER SAMBOKO

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