Industrial policy coming

GOVERNMENT is in the process of developing a national industrial policy aimed at promoting manufacturing to create jobs for the people.

Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe said during a business forum in Ndola yesterday that Government has started implementing a number of initiatives in the national industrial policy.

She said Government has availed K220 million through the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission to facilitate the implementation of the policy.

Mrs Mwanakatwe also said there is need to scale up the local processing of goods and value addition to agricultural products so that Zambia can start exporting high value finished products.

“Engaging in value addition and processing of our agricultural products will enable us as a country to reduce dependency on export of copper ore and primary agricultural products, which leaves us vulnerable in most cases to external shocks,” Mrs Mwanakatwe said.

Source: The Daily Mail

Zambia’s kwacha touches-six-week high as firms sell dollars to pay taxes

Zambia’s kwacha rose to a near six-week 6 high against the dollar on Wednesday, after companies exchanged greenbacks for the local currency to meet quarterly tax payments and the copper price firmed.

The metal’s price hit an 8-week high with investors betting on more global stimulus measures after Britain’s shock vote to leave the European Union, extending gains for Africa’s No. 2 copper producer’s currency.

The kwacha reached a session high of 10.2100 per dollar before pulling back to 10.4000 by 0814 GMT in volatile trade, but was still up 3.17 percent from Tuesday’s close.

Traders said company tax was due on July 14.

“Firms are buying kwacha to comply with quarterly tax obligations on top of the usual salary payments at month-end,” said NKC Economics southern Africa analyst Irmgard Erasmus.

The kwacha was also supported by the copper price that was more resilient to the results of the Brexit vote than expected, said Erasmus.
Some traders said the kwacha was also buoyed by a shortage of the local currency.

“Apart from dollar conversions by companies preparing to pay month-end obligations, the kwacha is also getting support from the central bank’s open market operations which entail reducing the amount of kwacha in circulation,” independent financial analyst Maambo Hamaundu said.

Source: The Guardian Nigeria

Zambia remains economically viable

ZAMBIA has remained economically viable through continued operations of the mining industry, United Nations (UN) resident coordinator Janet Rogan has observed.

And Ms Rogan has urged mining companies to conduct their operations in a sustainable manner that is beneficial to both humans and the environment.

“The mining sector has a future in Zambia and the country has remained economically viable through operations of the industry,” she said.

Ms Rogan was speaking on Wednesday after touring Konkola mine in Chililabombwe, Nchanga smelter and the leach plants in Chingola.

“Mines in Zambia were built some years back but they are still READ MORE

Source: Zambia Daily Mail

Kwacha firms more than 2 pct as copper hits 8-week high

The currency of Africa’s second-biggest copper producer was up 2.7 percent at 10.4500 by 0630 GMT.

Zambia’s kwacha firmed more than 2 percent against the dollar on Wednesday as the price of copper rose to an 8-week high as investors bet on more global stimulus measures after Britain’s shock vote to leave the European Union.

The currency of Africa’s second-biggest copper producer was up 2.7 percent at 10.4500 by 0630 GMT.


Zambia’s inflation slows to 21 percent in June

LUSAKA, June 30 (Reuters) – Zambia’s inflation slowed to 21 percent in June from 21.3 percent year-on-year in May, the central statistical office (CSO) said on Thursday.

The monthly inflation rate inched up to 0.3 percent from 0.2 percent in May, the statistics agency said.

“The decrease in the annual rate of inflation was mainly attributed to decreases in the price of food items,” the CSO said. (Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by James Macharia).

Source: Reuters Africa

Utilise underground water for power generation, UN Coordination urges mines

Mining companies should make use of underground water to generate electricity for their own operations, United Nations (UN) country coordinator Janet Rogan has said.

Most of the water the mines pump out of underground is usually channelled to main water bodies like rivers and streams un utilised.

But Ms Rogan said with the low power production, investment in power generation would help them overcome electricity challenges.

“There is a lot of water that is channelled to the natural water bodies and I think mining companies should think of using the water for power generation looking at the power shortages facing the country,” she said.

Ms Rogan was speaking in an interview in Chililabombwe after touring Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) facilities.

She was impressed after touring the water pumping facility and the latest mining equipment the mining company is employing.

“I am impressed by the level of technology KCM is using; this means that Zambia’s mining sector has a bright future,” Ms Rogan said.

She said with copper prices fetching lowly on the international market, it was imperative for mining companies to work on reducing the cost of production.

Ms Rogan, who also toured Lufwanyama emerald area, said Zambia had massive potential for emerald production which she said had remained untapped.

“I did not know that Copperbelt had a lot of potential for gemstones. There is need for investment in the sub sector, probably the gemstone belt could be developed looking at the massive potential Lufwanyama area has,” she said.

Source: Times of Zambia

Nava Bharat Ventures hits 52-week high; surges 50% in one-month

Nava Bharat Ventures has rallied 13% to Rs 250, also its 52-week high on the BSE, after the company announced that its Zambian subsidiary, Maamba Collieries Limited (MCL) has repaid the sponsor bridge loan to Nava Bharat Group in full.

“The company’s Zambian subsidiary, Maamba Collieries Limited (MCL) has concluded accession of additional long term debt. With this, MCL’s integrated coal and power project is funded, with long term external total debt of USD 590 million,” Nava Bharat Ventures said in a BSE filing.

Total debt including the debt of US$ 515 million for which the financial closure was announced earlier, it added.

Meanwhile, the stock has outperformed the market by surging 51% in past one month, after the company reported more than doubled net profit of Rs 58 crore for the quarter ended March 2016 (Q4FY16) against Rs 24 crore in a year ago quarter. The S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.7% during the same period.

The company attributed better performance during the quarter owing to a combination of positive factors like better margins for power and sugar with better volumes of sale for power and ferro alloys.

At 12:29 AM, the stock was up 10% at Rs 243 on the BSE. A combined 1.57 million shares changed hands on the counter on the NSE and BSE.

Source: Business Standard

KCM cuts cost of production by 18%


KONKOLA Copper Mines (KCM) has reduced the cost of production by 18 per cent while production has increased by seven per cent despite the challenges mining companies are facing.

KCM vice-president for local economic development, David Paterson said to reduce the impact of low copper prices on the international market, the company had worked on the new business strategy which had seen production costs drop by 18 per cent.

“We have developed a new production strategy which has seen production costs dropping by 18 per cent while increasing copper ore production by seven per cent despite the unfavourable business conditions on the international market,” Mr Paterson said.

He was briefing United Nations country coordinator Janet Rogan who toured the mining company’s facilities in Chililabombwe and Chingola on Wednesday.

Mr Paterson said KCM had been working on increasing efficiency by deploying one of the best modern technology equipment which had seen production costs go down.
He said the company wanted to prepare for the future.

“We want to prepare for the future so that when commodity prices start picking, they find us in a much better condition,” Mr Paterson said.

He said since the company took over mining operations in the country, the parent company, Vedanta Resources Plc, had invested to a tune of US$3 billion, a demonstration of the company’s commitment to the future of its mining in the country.

KCM geological services manager Davy Mubita said the sinking of the shaft at Konkola underground mine in Chililabombwe had expanded the lifespan and copper ore production for KCM.

“We recently extended the production capacity of the mine to eight million tonnes of ore after deepening shafts as well as sinking new ones at Konkola underground mine,” Mr Mubita said.

Source: Times of Zambia

Nava Bharat Ventures Ltd arm repays sponsor Bridge Loan to Nava Bharat Group

Nava Bharat Ventures Ltd’s Zambian subsidiary, Maamba Collieries Limited (MCL) has concluded accession of additional long term debt. With this, MCL’s integrated coal and power project is funded, with long term external total debt of US$ 590 million (including the debt of US$515 million for which the financial closure was announced earlier).

Following the disbursement of loan by the additional lender, MCL has repaid the sponsor bridge loan to Nava Bharat group in full, pursuant to common terms agreement with the lenders.

Shares of NAVA BHARAT VENTURES LTD. was last trading in BSE at Rs.220.85 as compared to the previous close of Rs. 217.25. The total number of shares traded during the day was 49542 in over 1655 trades.

The stock hit an intraday high of Rs. 224.15 and intraday low of 218.75. The net turnover during the day was Rs. 10983874.

Source: Equity Bulls

Chibuluma earns over US$70 million


CHIBULUMA Mines earned more than US$70 million in 2015, a senior company official disclosed recently.

Chibuluma country manager Jackson Sikamo said the company sold 13,303 tonnes of copper in 2015, earning US$71 million in gross revenue.

Mr Sikamo also said as at May 31, this year, Chibuluma spent US$14.4 million on development.

He said Chibuluma’s current major project is the company-financed US$24 million Chifupu copper development project.

Mr Sikamo was speaking in Lusaka during the just ended 6th Zambia International Mining and Energy Conference which was held under the theme, ‘Mining and energy on the growth path to support and grow the Zambian economy.’

“However, the mine’s performance in the financial year 2015 has been characterised by low production volumes, and this, coupled with the continuously falling copper prices, has put severe pressure on the company’s cash flow,” he said.

He said Chibuluma Mines is facing operational challenges due to, among other issues, the copper price reduction and increasing cost of production.

Mr Sikamo said other challenges facing the company are current resources mined out by 2019 (excluding the Chifupu reserve), skills retention, underground collisions, supervisor safety culture, historically supervisor- dependent and equipment availability and reliability, among others.

He said to address the challenges, Chibuluma Mines is looking for acquisitions, explorations and joint-venture partnerships with local or foreign companies to expand its operations in the country.

Chibuluma Mines plc is a modern mechanised underground copper mine which is 85 percent owned by Jinchuan Group Company Limited and 15 percent by ZCCM-IH plc.

Source: Zambia Daily Mail