Chinese mining investors shunning Zambia for DRC copper, mining association claims


Emeralds and Semi-precious Miners Association of Zambia (ESMAZ) General Secretary, Shadreck Mwape, claims Zambia is losing out to Chinese mining investors who are opting for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Mwape, who owns an artisanal mining venture in Lufwanyama emerald area, said in an interview on Saturday that Chinese miners are preferring DRC.

“Production of copper in the country is dwindling because some investors, especially Chinese, are opting for the DRC. We need measures to attract back investors,” he said.

The country’s 2022 copper production reportedly fell to 763,550.34 compared with
803,746.52, showing a drop of 4.2 percent.

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Mwape said it was disappointing that while the country is aiming at increasing copper production to three million tonnes in 10 years, production keeps on going down.

He said measures should be taken to bring small scale miners on board to achieve the three million tonnes in the next decade.

“Small scale miners should be empowered, we have a number of idle small-scale mines in the country who cannot contribute significantly to the national output, but they need the required capital to run operations,” Mwape said.

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