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Copper output to soar

ZAMBIA’S copper production is expected to increase to over 740,000 tonnes, representing a five percent growth this year, due to enhanced production by new mines such as Kalumbila Mines.

Other contributing projects are plans by Glencore to invest over US$1.1 billion over the next three years to expand operations at its Mopani in the mining sector.

A latest report by the Institute of International Finance (IIF), which is a global association of the financial industry titled ‘Zambia buffeted from all sides’, predicts that copper output will rise from 710,560 tonnes to 746,000 tonnes.

“The official target for copper production is about 1.5 metric tonnes per annum by 2017. However, this is deemed overambitious by the IIF given electricity constraints, sluggish global demand and low prices. Despite these constraints, the IIF expects copper production in Zambia to rise steadily over the next few years.

“The current account deficit is forecasted to narrow this year and next year as copper production rises, and especially if prices edge higher,” the report indicates.

Currently, copper price on the global market is below US$4,700 a tonne.

The report also covers topics such as copper mining, including copper prices and production, mining taxation and its effect on the Zambian investment climate, power generation and its impact on companies and the economy.

Other topics include the performance of the Kwacha against other currencies depreciation rates and outlook monetary and fiscal policy of Zambia, particularly, the stance of the budget deficit, risks and opportunities in Zambia, including the sectors with the highest potential in the country.

Over the longer term, the Zambian economy has significant potential due to its rich natural resource base and track record of pro-market policies and democratic stability.

Source: Daily Mail

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