Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 03 January 2011 – The high global copper price is expected to bring further hefty investment into the Zambian mining sector this year, keeping it on track to reach its annual production target of one million tonnes by 2012/13.
Making this prediction here, Chamber of Mines of Zambia president Nathan Chishimba said the trend seen in 2010, when Zambia attracted US$2 billion in new mining investments, would continue and would improve further as a result of stable tax policies in the southern African country.
“I think the prospects for mining in Zambia are very, very bright,” Chishimba told Reuters in an interview here. “A high copper price permits flexibility by investors to plough back into improvements in production, improvements in efficiency and overall improvement in output,” he added.
“We believe these new projects, once they stabilise, will go a very long way towards achieving the one million tonne mark which we have set for ourselves in the next two years or so,” said Chishimba.
London Metal Exchange copper rose to a record high of US$9 447 a tonne last week when trade resumed after the Christmas break.
Metals prices are expected to follow their own fundamentals during 2011, as emerging market economies drive ahead and demand recovers in developed nations, pushing copper above US$11 000 a tonne, Goldman Sachs forecast..
Chishimba said the investment of US$400 million into a Zambian copper project by Brazil’s Vale, the world’s top iron ore miner, was a vote of confidence in Zambia’s mining sector, which is the largest copper producer in Africa.
Finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane confirmed recently that the government had agreed to maintain the existing mining taxes for 10 years to provide stability to mining investors.