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Zambian copper production rises again

The Bank of Zambia
(centre) dominates the
Lusaka skyline
 
Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 13 October 2009 – Zambia’s copper production for the eight months to the end of August 2009 rose by 18% to 456 004 tonnes, compared with the same period last year, due to the ramp-up in output by producers.

The Bank of Zambia (BoZ) said in its fortnightly report that copper exports had been recorded at 433 666 tonnes from January to August 2009, compared with 361 550 tonnes in the same period last year.

BoZ governor Caleb Fundanga told Reuters that copper output was rising in Zambia “’ Africa’s largest producer of the metal “’ because most mines had invested heavily in new mining technology and equipment.

“This has secured production. The future looks very good because more mines are opening up and those that suspended operations are re-opening,” Fundanga added.

The central bank said cobalt output had fallen to 2 456 tonnes from 3 088 tonnes up to August last year, while exports were down to 2 529 tonnes in the same period this year compared with 3 105 tonnes during the eight months to August 2008.

Analysts say cobalt output has been declining since 2008 following the closure of Chambishi Metals Plc, the country’s largest producer of the metal.

Zambia plans to raise copper output to 750 000 tonnes a year by 2010 from 662 000 tonnes this year, although the southern African country’s long-term objective is to peak output at 1.0 million tpa.

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