HomeBase MetalsFirst-half Zambian copper production up

First-half Zambian copper production up

Luanshya “’ one
of many copper mines
contributing to increased
Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 05 August 2010 – Copper production in Zambia “’ Africa’s leading producer of the metal “’ rose by a substantial 16% in the first six months of 2010, after various mines increased output as the global economic crisis eased.

Revealing this in a statement issued here, the Central Bank confirmed that  first-half copper output of 393 089t had put the country on course to hit its annual target of 750 000t.

Last year Zambia produced just under 700 000t of the metal, after mines which had suspended output during the global economic crisis resumed operations.

“This year’s production should exceed last year’s figure given the impressive first-half results,” said Chibamba Kanyama, an analyst at the Economics Association of Zambia think-tank. “The new mines like Lumwana are increasing their output, and other mines which resumed production after the global economic crisis are also picking up relatively fast.”

Central bank data showed that Zambia’s copper exports during the first six months had risen to 405 784t from the 310 956t the southern African country exported in the first half of last year.

Cobalt production during the period more than doubled to 4 057t from 1 967t last year, while exports of the metal increased to 3 889t from 1 950t last year. Kanyama said the restarting of output at Zambia’s largest cobalt producer, Chambishi Metals, had contributed greatly to the increased cobalt production.

Zambia has continued to attract mining investments to lift output to the targeted 750 000t this year and 1 million target by 2012, according to Central Bank governor Caleb Fundanga.

The government and the Chamber of Mines of Zambia have both said that investments in the mining sector, the country’s economic lifeblood, have peaked at US$5-billion (R37.5 billion) in the last eight years.