Lusaka: The Chamber of Mines of Zambia (CMZ) has projected to hit 1.5 million metric tonnes of copper production in the mining industry in the next five years following new mining projects embarked on by mining firms. Meanwhile, mining firms have invested US$6 billion to date since privatisation in rehabilitation, expansion of new processing plants and housing projects. Association chief executive officer Frederick Bantubonse says the future for the mining industry is bright in view of positive economic indicators.
“Come 2016 and 2017, we should be doubling our production from the current production which is almost 700,000 metric tonnes to K1.5 million metric tonnes. More projects are underway, we have seen expansion projects of Lumwana Copper Mines, Kalumbila and Konkola Deep Mine projects which both have the capacity to produce 500,000 metric tonnes,” he said.
Mr Bantubonse said this at the Press Association of Zambia (PAZA) breakfast meeting held at Taj Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka on Saturday.
He said with all things being equal, production levels are likely to increase tremendously in the next five years. He said huge benefits such as more employment, revenue to Government and spill-over effects on transport are expected to accrue to citizens.
Commenting on the investment, Mr Bantubonse said mining firms have continued to pump resources in their operations including the corporate social responsibility of building schools and hospitals for various communities.
On the other hand, Mr Bantubonse expressed concern at the challenges faced in the industry citing high cost of production and inputs including capital equipment, manufactured goods, spares and energy materials. He said high stripping ratios, mining registration, poor operation of cadastre system and the 2008 Mines and Minerals Act which abolished development agreements are other challenges faced.