Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 03 May 2011 – Copper output in Zambia “’ Africa’s top producer of the metal “’ will more than double to 2Mt by 2015 from around 900,000t this year, as new mines begin production and existing mining operations are expanded.
Revealing this here in an interview with Reuters, finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane said mines and expansion projects by Canada’s First Quantum Minerals, Brazil’s Vale, Canadian-based Equinox Minerals, London-listed Vedanta and Swiss-based Glencore International AG would boost copper production.
“We are opening new mines and expanding others so in all, in the next five years, we will be close to 2Mt,” Musokotwane said in the interview.
He added that copper production was expected to rise to the targeted 1Mt by next year.
“There are new mines still to open, and that should help raise production,” he said.
Last Friday First Quantum launched the start of construction of a US$1 billion copper mine in north-western Zambia, which is due to start operations in 2014 with peak production estimated at 300,000tpa.
Vedanta’s Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) plans to invest US$1 billion in the next three to four years on expansion and upgrades in a bid to become a major global copper producer, its chief executive said in December last year.
Musokotwane went on to say that the government did not intend changing current mining policies. “We will maintain the existing policies in order to continue attracting investors.”