Power and Politics

President Hichilema speaks on Zambia’s mining investments at African Mining Indaba


President Hakainde Hichilema has highlighted several investments pledges which have been made in the mining sector that includes the US$1.3 billion by China Non-Ferrous Mining Corporation (CNMC) into various operations in Zambia.

Hichilema said CNMC pledged investment include the US$600 million reopening of shaft 28 at the Luanshya Copper Mines, on the Copperbelt.

The Head of Stated said this virtually during the 2024 African Mining Indaba taking place in Cape Town, South Africa.

The President emphasized that several investments made in the mining industry were already paying off.

He announced that First Quantum Minerals (FQM) had invested $100 million in Enterprise Nickel Mine -Africa’s largest nickel producer.

“First Quantum Minerals is also investing over US$1 billion to expand the Kansanshi mine and smelter in S3, which is helping to improve downstream beneficiation,” Hichilema said.

He indicated that Moxico Resources began production at its Mimbula Mining project in March 2023 and during the first nine months of operation, the project produced 6,000 tonnes of Copper.

The President noted that Kobold Metals, which uses Pioneering Artificial Intelligence, AI technology, had made significant progress in defining the orebody at its Mingomba project, following a $150 million investment in 2022.

“Barrick Gold Corporation has doubled down on its commitment with a $2 billion investment to expand its Lumwana Mine into a ‘super-pit’, capable of producing 240,000 tonnes of copper per year when it comes online in 2028,” he noted.

The President reiterated government’s commitment to making Zambia a reliable investment partner of choice on the African continent.

Hichilema indicated that the New Dawn Administration had made substantial progress in resolving issues around Mopani Mine and Konkola Copper Mines.

“Government is grateful to International Resource Holding and Vedanta Resources, for the combined US$2.3 billion investment they have committed to providing, in order to fulfill the potential of these two national assets,” he said.

Hichilema added that government had made significant efforts to support the Gemstone sector and, in particular, Emeralds, where Zambia had become the world’s largest producer of this precious stone.

He encouraged diversification through mineral exploration exercise so as to confirm resources in rare earths, lithium, gold, manganese, graphite, Sugilite, and diamonds.

The Head of State indicated that government was working with local and international partners to boost Zambia’s energy and transport infrastructure, which would help to support the country’s bold mining ambitions.

“These projects include the 2.2 billion Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station; the UK- Zambia Green Growth Compact, opening up $3 billion in private sector and government funding for renewable energy projects across Zambia,” Hichilema highlighted.

Read More: KoBold Metals promises high corporate governance, transparency at launch of Mingomba mine

He stated that the Copperbelt Energy Company (CEC) $200 million Green Bond issued – to finance solar, wind and other renewable energy in Zambia.

Hichilema also noted that government had opened up the energy market to private sector players through the open access regime and facilitated off-taker guarantee financing, allowing mining companies to finance captive power to fuel their expansion projects.

“Government has further lined up infrastructure projects like the Zambia – Lobito rail line and the upgrading of TAZARA railway line to provide a smoother route to markets for mining operations based in Zambia,” the Head of State said.

The President also called for investment partnerships to power new, green, African future helping the world to meet its climate targets and usher in a new era of industrialisation for Africa and the global community.

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