Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema is upbeat about increased coper production despite the expected slump this year.
According to experts, the second largest copper producer in Africa is expected to record a historical lower production of copper to below 700,000 tonnes of copper owing to low copper grades at Kansanshi Mine and continued operational challenges facing Copperbelt mines.
However, the President told delegates at the 2023 Zambia International Mining and Energy Conference and Exhibition in Kitwe on Wednesday, in a speech ready on his behalf by Mines and Mineral Development Minister, Paul Kabuswe, that the investment the country was attracting from the mining sector would boost economic activities and soon payoff.
This year’s ZIMEC is being held under the theme “Investing in Zambia, Mine to Market, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development of Future Minerals.”
“We are very serious about promoting copper production ramping up in the mining sector and this is the reason we first worked on improving the mining fiscal regime to attract more investments,” he stated.
The President further justified his claims, saying that the expected investment of about US$2 billion in the mining expansion by Barrick Gold Corporation and the already invested US$1.2 billion would go a long way in boosting copper production in the country.
He also assured delegates that the envisaged three million tonnes of copper would be attained as he encouraged investors to take advantage of the expected demand in power to invest in energy sources.
Speaking at the same event, Zambia Chamber of Mines (ZCM) president, Godwin Beene, said its members had promised to commit around US$5 billion in the Zambian mining sector.
He said achieving three million tonnes of copper per year in the next decade would create around 150,000 skills and up to 10,000 megawatts of power from the current 3,700 installed electricity capacity.
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