Copper “’ Zambian
production keeps
rising
 
Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 18 February 2010 – Copper output in Zambia “’ Africa’s top copper producer “’ rose 14% to 697 860 tonnes last year, although output was hampered by the closure of some mines in the wake of the international financial crisis.

Reuters reports that Zambia has previously stated that copper production could hit 1.0 million tonnes by 2011, as new mines come on stream and expansions and upgrades take place at existing mines.

Chamber of Mines of Zambia general manager Frederick Bantubonse said here that to boost output quicker, the southern African nation’s government should restore investor confidence, which had been eroded by the introduction of higher taxes in 2008. The taxes included a 15% profit variable tax, an increase in mineral royalties to 3.0% from 0.6% and a rise in corporate tax from 25% to 30%.

“The increase in production could have been higher without the global economic crunch which forced some mines to close down,” Bantubonse pointed out.

“The price of copper is good, but there is a need to quickly resolve the problems arising from the new mining tax legislation, which has affected investments,” he added.

Zambia’s central bank said copper exports had jumped to 675 384 tonnes last year from 587 125 tonnes the previous year.

Cobalt production had risen to 5 879 tonnes from 4 617 tonnes in 2008, and exports had increased to 5 868 tonnes in 2009 from 4 610 tonnes, the Bank of Zambia added.