Explain increase in Copper production


GOVERNEMNT must clearly explain how copper mining for this year may surpass production for last year considering the fact that the price has been low, says Lusaka based financial analyst Maambo Hamaundu.

He said in an interview that it would be prudent if Government clearly availed details to the public on how it would record higher copper output this year than 2014.

Mr Hamaundu wondered how production for 2015 would surpass that of last year when some big mines continuously lamented low commodity prices.

“It will be very prudent if Government avails details if indeed the production will be higher, because it has been witnessed that some big mines continued mentioning low production while others have gone under care maintenance. Therefore, it does not sound appropriate that there will be increased copper production in 2015.

“When you are looking at the mines, I do not think there have been new mines that have recorded a huge production which can bring change with immediate effect,” he said.

Mr Hamaundu said it was only prudent to relook at the production figures for both 2014 and 2015 in order to ascertain a true picture of the red metal.

“It is something that we ought to relook and ascertain and we need to look at what will lead to that,” he said.

On Wednesday this week, Mines and Minerals Development Deputy Minister Richard Musukwa said despite low commodity prices, copper production of 467, 380. 90 tones at the end of August 2015 was at 2.8 percent more than recorded in 2014.

Mr Musukwa attributed the increase to the commencement of production at Kalumbila and increase in production at Lumwana, Mopani and Luanshya copper mines.

“Total copper production for the year 2015 may surpass that of 2014 but will be less than the projected figure of over a million tonnes,” he said.