Business

Is 3m tonnes of copper target attainable?

MINING in Zambia history and future indicates that on a small scale, the mining activities by the natives were widespread across the Copperbelt region and other places

NKOMBO KACHEMBA, Lusaka
SINCE 1963 when mines were in private hands, Zambia has always struggled to meet its target of producing one million tonnes of copper annual.
From 1963 to 1971, copper production has always been below 800,000 tonnes, with the highest output recorded in the early 1960s when it hit slightly above 750,000 tonnes.
During the post-independence era when mines were nationalised, the highest output recorded was 700,000 tonnes but the figures dropped to 300,000 tonnes in the 1990s.
However, the post  privatisation period witnessed most mines beginning  to ramp up production, which saw the output of the red metal increasing from 300,000 tonnes between 2000 and 2003 to  slightly below 800,000 tonnes after 2011.
After the privatisation of the mines in the early 2000s, the mine owners started investing in modern equipment and new mining techniques, which saw the national output for copper production slowly increasing.
In 2015, copper output was at 700,000 tonnes, 2016, 596,000 tonnes and CLICK TO READ MORE




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