United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia (UPPZ) party leader, Charles Chanda, has called on government to introduce a motion in Parliament that would ban the export of copper concentrates.
Chanda said government, through Mines and Minerals Development Minister, Paul Kabuswe, should consider the proposal and introduce the motion which should also include other related metals.
The UPPZ leader said this in a statement issued in Lusaka on Saturday and made available to Zambia Monitor.
He emphasized that the export of copper concentrates had contributed significantly to the country’s socio-economic problems hence the need to take a bold decision to address the issue.
“Copper is Zambia’s primary export commodity, which accounts for about 70 percent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings,” Chanda noted.
He said despite the vast deposits of Copper in Zambia, most of the country’s copper was exported in its raw form, which had negatively affected the country’s economy.
Chanda further argued that without value addition, Zambia would continue to lose revenue and foreign exchange earnings.
“The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has banned the export of Copper concentrates, resulting in the creation of jobs and increased revenue for the country,” Chanda said.
He said Zambia had the potential to become a hub for copper processing, but this could only be achieved if it stopped exporting copper concentrate and instead have it processed locally.
“This is not a political or partisan issue. It is an issue that affects every Zambian, and we must all unite to ensure that our country’s economy grows and prospers,” Chanda said.
The UPPZ leader’s call for a ban on the export of copper concentrates comes at a time when global copper prices have surged to record highs due to increased demand from electric vehicles and renewable energy industries.
According to a report by the International Copper Study Group, Zambia’s copper production declined by four percent in 2022, with many mining companies blaming low copper prices and the COVID-19 pandemic for the decline.
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